17 December, 2017

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Mahinda Rajapaksa And The Seven Dwarfs

By Rajiva Wijesinha –

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

Enemies of the President’s Promise: Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Seven Dwarfs – Grumpy 3

The Secretary to the President, Lalith Weeratunge, explained to me how it happened. In 2010 the President had wanted to put this brother too into Parliament, but he had scoffed at the idea and said the prospect did not interest him. However, he had added that, if the President wished to give him other responsibilities too, he would be pleased to look after Urban Development.

So, after the election, the Ministry of Defence was renamed the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, and Gotabaya went, as it were, to town. Colombo, which had suffered both from neglect over decades, and from ghastly makeshift barriers for protection of important places when terrorist activity was in its heyday, was transformed, and began for the first time in the last half century to look beautiful.

Mahinda GotaGotabaya was helped in all this by the hard-working military personnel he could employ. I had had some experience of this when, as Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management, I found that I had to coordinate work with regard to the many canals that wound their way through the city. The care of these, and their banks, were allocated to a dozen different agencies, and coordination between these was not easy. It was only the navy I found that had fulfilled its responsibilities swiftly and effectively, and the stretches in their care were the cleanest and best maintained.

With the Ministry of Defence coordinating action in this and other areas, development was swift. Gotabaya also chose capable people to head the Urban Development Authority, and they were able to plan more coherently than most government departments, though it should be noted that there were still some shortcomings about coordination, especially when it came to working with local authorities not under the control of the government. Still, the UDA was quick to respond when difficulties were pointed out, and in this regard its work ethic was admirable.

This was a distinct advantage Gotabaya had over Basil, who was not a team player at all. Perhaps because of his military training, Gotabaya was able to identify and work with capable people. Of course in fairness to Basil it could be argued that he thought he had to do everything himself, because many officials he came across were inefficient, or incapable of taking quick decisions – unlike the military personnel Gotabaya had worked with, both in his youth and as he took over at the Ministry of Defence. But whereas Gotabhaya was also concerned with training, and with ensuring a new generation able to work effectively, such concepts were beyond Basil.

This was another area in which the capabilities of the forces were well deployed. They were asked to take charge of a pre-University training course since it was noted that those who were admitted to universities, perhaps because of the purely academic training they had undergone in the struggle to get good enough grades for admission, had no soft skills.

In the nineties I had in fact been in charge of what was termed a General English Language Training programme for pre-University students, and in line with what I went on to do in the university to which I went back some years later, I introduced other skills too. On the GELT, where we had limited time, we stressed thinking skills and public presentation skills, based on group work. My fellow coordinator, Oranee Jansz, was the main inspiration for the latter, through her concept of synergy which she was able to evoke productively through the many exercises she devised.

Gotabaya’s course, designed by Daya Ratnayake who was Chief of Staff at the time, was supposed to develop leadership qualities, in line with the modules in that subject covered in the military training schools. This led to charges of militarization, so that after the first year the course was done with less publicity, which was a pity since open discussion of its effectiveness would have helped the public to understand the shortcomings in the existing educational system which this helped, at least in small measure, to remedy. Certainly all students who followed the course enjoyed it hugely, and the opportunity to work together with others from different backgrounds, and deploy a range of skills in coordination with others, was much appreciated.

So, when the government introduced a graduate recruitment scheme, without any planning as to what the new recruits would do, and it was found that they were simply taking up space in government offices, it was decided to ask the military to train them too. Sadly this could not be done comprehensively, but those who did follow this Leadership course benefited immensely. During my Reconciliation meetings in the North, I found many complaints about the lack of purpose the new recruits were experiencing, but full appreciation in the few who had received such training about what they had received.

Unfortunately, given the failure of government to coordinate, there was no effort to introduce such skills into regular government training courses. Though the military made its training centres available to government officials, and some benefited from this, the Ministry of Public Administration did not take advantage of these developments to rethink its own training programmes. The patent need to develop problem solving and decision making skills through project work, and also promote teamwork skills and the ability to synergize, was not recognized.

This was a pity, because it would have provided an opportunity too to use for wider public benefit the skills the military still possessed, almost uniquely amongst Sri Lankan public institutions. Given the high educational standards military institutions maintained, I suggested deploying the military for a range of educational purposes, and was able, after a visit to Pakistan, where the body engaged in general education gave me a comprehensive overview of their work, to cite precedent from elsewhere. But that suggestion came to nothing, given that our governmental structures are so compartmentalized and so cannot  develop initiatives that involve agencies taking on responsibilities in areas thought to belong to others.

I had suggested three forms of intervention. Most important I thought, given the failure over the years to treat vocational and technical education seriously, was the establishment of vocational training centres in areas currently neglected, particularly in the North and East. These could, on the Pakistani model, work with soldiers about to retire, to retrain them for civilian life, but they could also offer courses to the wider population.

Second, both for such establishments, but also for more academic courses, I thought the Kotelawala Defence University should offer external degrees, and validate bodies all over the country to conduct courses for these degrees. In particular it could easily increase the pool of trained personnel in subjects which the existing educational system was deficient in, namely English and Mathematics and Computer Skills, and also Sinhala and Tamil for those whose mother tongue was the other.

Finally, I also suggested interventions in the existing school system, on the lines of two initiatives Pakistan had begun. The first was the establishment of Cadet Schools, to cater to youngsters getting into their teens who might be thinking of a military career. These would cater not only to the children of military personnel, but could also be used to encourage students in areas which did not generally produce soldiers. Ideally, of course, there would be a few such Schools in the North and East, so that minorities could enroll and be in a position therefore to contribute more recruits to the military, which was seen as basically a Sinhalese institution. The incentive would be that these schools, while following the national curriculum and getting students through essential public examinations, would concentrate on important academic subjects and also engage in a range of sports and other extra-curricular activities that would develop personality and leadership skills. They would also function in the English medium, which would be a great incentive for the local population to enroll their children.

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  • 8
    1

    Finally, I also suggested interventions in the existing school system, on the lines of two initiatives Pakistan had begun. The first was the establishment of Cadet Schools, to cater to youngsters getting into their teens who might be thinking of a military career. These would cater not only to the children of military personnel, but could also be used to encourage students in areas which did not generally produce soldiers. Ideally, of course, there would be a few such Schools in the North and East, so that minorities could enroll and be in a position therefore to contribute more recruits to the military, which was seen as basically a Sinhalese institution.

    Great, let us follow a basket case of a country Pakistan, rocked by military dictatorships and islamic militancy. If there isn’t enough militancy here already ! Wow, aren’t you dripping with smashing ideas !

  • 8
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    This professor guy does not get it.

    He thinks the whole Sri Lanka is Mahinda Rajapakse and Rajapakses and the whole UN is he himself and Dayan Jayathilake

    • 1
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      Jim softy

      Item 1. “This professor guy does not get it.”

      Q. What is the IQ of Sri Lankans and that of those Professors from the Arts Faculties?

      A. 79 and 79 + Standard Deviation = 91

      http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

      National IQ Scores – Country Rankings

      Rank
      ——– Country
      ———————– %
      ————-
      1 Singapore 108
      2 South Korea 106
      28 Sri Lanka 79
      28 Zambia 79

      Item 2. ” He thinks the whole Sri Lanka is Mahinda Rajapakse and Rajapakses and the whole UN is he himself and Dayan Jayathilake”

      A. He is going by the Cur outs of the Medamulana MaRa across the country.

      So, to change that do the following:

      1. On Each MaRa cutout, throw BLACK Paint or RED Paint based on the desire of the thrower.

      RED Means Death, the people MaRa has killed.

      BLACK means, the Coming Dark Ages and the current Dark Ages Sri Lanka is in Right Now.

      The Paint can be put inside a balloon or set of balloons with a stone inside and thrown at EACH cut out.

      This is only way to stop the cut pout menace and foreigners getting the INCORRECT Impression.

      Tablet vs Paintballs – The Slow Mo Guys

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OH1CKIQdpw

  • 10
    1

    This writer says:
    “In the nineties I had in fact been in charge of what was termed a General English Language Training programme for pre-University students”

    But he writes very opaque, even incomprehensible English.
    Just look at the following sentence.

    “The Secretary to the President, Lalith Weeratunge, explained to me how it happened. In 2010 the President had wanted to put this brother too into Parliament, but he had scoffed at the idea and said the prospect did not interest him. However, he had added that, if the President wished to give him other responsibilities too, he would be pleased to look after Urban Development”

    Now, who has scoffed at the idea? We, knowing the political background, can understand that Gotabaya scoffed at the idea. But the structure of the sentence could equally mean that Lalith had scoffed at the idea. That is not the only ambiguity in this sentence. I leave it as an exercise to the reader.

    Read the other articles by this writer, and I am sure many readers would agree that almost all his writings are characteristically poorly written from the point of view of communicating what he wants to say, and sometimes even fails in grammatical accuracy.

    Short clear sentences would help him and the reader.

    Here he writes:
    “Certainly all students who followed the course enjoyed it hugely, and the opportunity to work together with others from different backgrounds, and deploy a range of skills in coordination with others, was much appreciated.

    Shouldn’t the verb agree with the subject.?
    Rajeev writes such convoluted sentences that he himself fails to see what the subject of his sentence is. Why is this string of subjects connected by “and” treated in the singular? Rajeev has perhaps made his verb agree with just the last item, ignoring simple rules of grammar.

    So much for GELT!

    • 4
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      I think he has a PhD in English from Oxford too LOL

      • 0
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        At least he didn’t stupidly call Sri Lanka a “failed State” like some bile-pouring ignoramus from Galagedara did a while ago, during the bad days of the Sunday leader.

        Hope the hymie too has learnt some English since then, though he can only dream of going to Oxford!

      • 1
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        I read, this professor did not get his PhD from the hand of a Vice chancellor. that means, it can not have been what is called an Accredited
        or, if accredited, a reputable University.

      • 0
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        R R;
        small story of mine;

        I HAVE A Credits pass from G C E O/L exam for English,
        as that time there were no facilities for Sinhala medium schools in North rural Sri lanka.

        Later I sat for the English teachers appointment competitive exam, and got an appointment.
        I was teaching English in a Tamil medium school to Tamil Children. I was the Only Sinhalese Who went to This LTTE Dominated Area and I had no Problem With That Killer Out fit.
        But They were angry with me, because I always blocked their Children Recruitment From My School.

        When I got an appointment/ Job to work abroad, my leave application was not approved by Ministry secretary [An Educated Tamil] as I am a Sinhalese.
        [No offence to My Tamizar Friends]
        But I left to work in Singapore forwarding my leave application to Provincial Director.
        When I Came back, They [the Secretary of Ministry of Education] refused to give back my appointment, Even though they had same English teacher vacancy and many more in that province.
        BECAUSE I AM A SINHALESE AND BUDDHIST.
        I observed that He was a worshiper of V P .
        I could have approach Mrs C B K as I had close family contacts, But I did not want to Go licking Polticos foots.

        after few years, I send a Letter to Rajiva Wijesinha at the presidential secretariat asking “How can I proceed to get my Appointment back”,
        But He was not even sympathetic to send an acknowledgement of the latter as that will not cost him a One Rupee.
        But Now I feel that I was so Lucky to not to have my English teacher appointment back.
        I did not Loose But Poor Tamil Children Did,
        and I think most of them are Dead now with Killer “Sooriya Theivan”.
        Do you Think He R R;
        small story of mine;
        I HAVE A Credits pass from G C E O/L exam for English, as, that time there were no facilities for Sinhala medium schools in North rural Sri lanka.

        Later I sat for the English teachers appointment competitive exam, got an appointment. I was teaching English in a Tamil medium school to Tamil Children. I was the Only Sinhalese Who went to This LTTE Dominated Area and I had no Problem With That Killer Out fit.
        But They were angry with me, because I always blocked their Children Recruitment From My School.

        When I got an appointment/ Job to work abroad, my leave application was not approved by Ministry secretary [An Educated Tamil] as I am a Sinhalese.
        [No offence to My Tamizar Friends]
        But I left to work in Singapore.
        When I Came back, They [the Secretary of Ministry of Education] refused to give back my appointment, Even though they had same English teacher vacancy and many more in that province.
        BECAUSE I AM A SINHALESE AND BUDDHIST.
        I observed that He was a worshiper of V P .
        I could have approach Mrs C B K as I had close family contacts, But I did not want to Go licking Polticos foots.
        I did not Loose any thing But The poor tamil Students lost a chanse to get their Knowledge.
        I think Most of them are Dead now with Their Killer, ” Sooriya Theivan”.

        after few years, I send a Letter to Rajiva Wijesinha at the presidential secretariat asking “How can I proceed to get my Appointment back”,
        But He was not even sympathetic to send an acknowledgement of the latter as that will not cost him a One Rupee.
        But Now I feel that I was so Lucky to not to have my English teacher appointment back and I am Alive Today.
        Do you Think He was a Public Servant?????/.
        “SO WHAT WE CAN EXPECT FROM THIS educated PROFFESOR”.?????/.

    • 7
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      Excellent and a very appropriate observation anonymous!

      It is this ineptness in his chosen field of study that possibly persuaded him to seek employment elsewhere – directly under the wings of MR.

      Rajiva, the bad news is, you are proving yourself to be an embarrassment for all academics. The good news is you are not the only one –time to go for a comforting beer with the other one, your pal DJ, the Political scientist who has the most gruesome interpretation of the historic protest against apartheid. Birds of a feather, indeed!

    • 0
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      True. For a Prof his English atrocious.

    • 2
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      Anonymous!

      Actually Rajiva’s sentence here is not ungrammatical — “was much appreciated” DOES agree with its singular subject, namely “the opportunity”.

      That is “the opportunity to work and deploy was appreciated”

      “Certainly all students who followed the course enjoyed it hugely, and the opportunity to work together with others from different backgrounds, and deploy a range of skills in coordination with others, was much appreciated”

      • 0
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        You are right, Manel. His use of grammar in that sentence is correct. Thank you for highlighting it.
        In the other case which someone has pointed out as ungrammatical, the structure of the paragraph (occuring in the beginning of the article) may need to be seen in relation to the context and the continuity of the article (it is a series). He could be clearer, however, by using words common in such constructions such as “former” and “latter”. He has not done so. Yet, one grammatical rule he has followed in that paragraph goes to relieve him of any serious error. Please note that he has used ‘past participle’ in that paragraph, which is really appropriate.
        However, it is important to seek to avoid such a confusion specially when writing a series.

        On reflection, I tend to think that many ‘mass producing’ writers or academi make these mistakes, since substance and adherence to rules

      • 0
        0

        What I heard and I believe too, Simple sentences would make English beautiful.

        Here, what we read are sentences, that have been made to look complicated, very long most of the time and with obscure meanings, does not necessarily achieve the intended objective.

        I think, Shakespeare’s English was simple sentences. But, they were beautiful.

  • 5
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    With such proficiency in the English language I wonder why “Anonymous” chose to remain anonymous. Interesting!

  • 0
    0

    Is Rajiva shooting same side goals now? anybody pls.

  • 1
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    Ayyo…Rajiva,

    If Mahinda goes home on Jan 9th, will you promise to stop writing nonsense.

    Why does it matter that Gotabaya has better leadership or management skills than Basil? They are both looting and stealing..Just because one says 10% and the other does not, does not make them different.

    The UDA is not supposed to be in the building and financing business. Its mandate is to create and implement policy. Instead, Millions are being borrowed through State banks for projects that would never pass muster as being financially viable and feasible, just to satisfy a chosen beneficiary, from whom a thumping bribe is collected.

    Case in point…KRISHH. Still waiting for them to convince a global company to put down the money so they can get the rest financed through banks. In the meantime the property value keeps going up and that is an interest free loan over the years the project has stagnated. See if you can figure out the Math.

  • 1
    0

    Professori: First things first. I have no truck with those who nit pick your grammar and prose. Poor form! I would prefer to think that those who read these columns will understand pretty damn well what the writers have in mind.

    With that out of the way, let us get down to the gist of your article. In nearly every article that you have written, rejection features regularly, and painfully.

    IF we believe what you have written, many of the proposals are no-brainers. So, have you ever stopped to think that you are wasting your time and effort? There must surely be other opportunities in which you could make gainful and appreciated contribution.

    Admittedly, you screwed up big time as mouthpiece and apologist for the King. That can be a block as a dodgy reputation will surely follow you like a bad smell.

    Still, it was nice to see you bravely acknowledging the persistent (and successful) efforts of the versatile Gota in his post war endeavours.

    One other thing: when are we ever going to acknowledge the futility of trying to make our nation ‘trilingual’. We threw away the English Baby with the dirty Colonial Bath Water. It was national suicide, and we can thank myriad politicians who played to the gallery at the time. NOW the thankless Sisyphean task is a mugs game. Far better to develop and promote the languages of the two main tribes and make those the platforms for our future prosperity.

  • 1
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    Good to read things are getting done in Sri Lanka on good scale- military, Gota, and all. I mean, with most of the academics out and vanished from the motherland, it is commendable the professor has used all available resources to get things rolling.

  • 1
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    Is this all about English? Hope those who checked the English did understand what was communicated. If that happened mission accomplished.

  • 1
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    It is sad to see an academic promoting a system in which military are taking over the responsibilities of civilians. Step by step Sri Lanka is turning into something similar to Thailand (run by the military – read the article in Ecomist of this week), similar to Russia (where ministries are empty bankrupt skeletons due to corruption), similar to North Korea (state media of Sri Lanka is literally nothing but lies, fear and propaganda).

    January 8th is the last chance for Sri Lanka to be labeled a democracy. If this government gets another 7 years to rule, than that would give them sufficient time to groom the military systems to take over the country fully. Why do you think Gota is keeping so quiet right now? He is the insurance policy of a worried family!

  • 1
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    Fully agree with Anonymous. I have no idea why this is even an article. I often wondered why can’t he speak or write a full sentence coherently in English as a so called elite Lit Prof. His writings are often so vague that it is hard to understand who he is referring to. Since I read in one of the comments for Rajeeva’s previous articles, a reader had listed whole host of qualifications he has in English plus in the field of academics. Including his exemplary knowledge in English Literature, conducting writing workshops in English, making it a national policy on English so on. So well, having too much knowledge language and qualifications on paper does not necessarily translates to real life applications it seems. Well we did this GELT course, and that was total waste of time when it comes to learning English. But to socialize, a great opportunity.

  • 0
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    I, me and myself seems to be the subject of his writing nowadays. Rajeeva, getting boring man.

  • 0
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    What is this duded on about…

    Shouldn’t he be writing about the policy advice and programs he has given to Sira and his coalition to make our inhabitants , happy, lucky,and live in prosperity after Sira abdicates and Cousin Chandrika and the Taylor Boy take over.

    Sorry my Elders just then reminded me that it is Ranil who is taking over..

    Now I am confused.

    The Prez said yesterday that his challenger is not really Sira.. because he is a nonidentity

    It is actually Ranil’s cousin Chandrika and Mangala who are running the show.

    And Cousin Ranil is an onlooker.

    Even Brahamin Tigress Ms Skandarajah from International Eelaam said the Devil you know is better.

    She must have have been tipped off by some one..

    BTW, Wonder what category this PhD falls in to?.

    • 0
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      Shill shill shill, kade going, jingle all the way.
      Oh what fun it is to ride Mahinda’s gravy train!
      Oh, shill shill shill, kade going, Sumane’s back again!
      Vellalas and Brahminas, and Dalits too he says!

      Merry Christmas to you too, you lunatic.

  • 0
    0

    Agree with Rajiva Wijesinghe on most of what he says. Agree that we need to improve soft skills amongst our students ( many OBAs are already doing it the secondary schools), universities and the public service. It is just that Rajiva is a square peg in a round hole. He may try his luck with with a new government if Rajapaksa does not scuttle elections.

  • 4
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    As a military man who served in war and peace for nearly three decades, I fear the learned professor is confusing military leadership with leadership in general. I am against cadet schools; Indian army abolished cadet schools of colonial vintage which were run for wards of servicemen who were automatically enrolled in the army for very good reasons. They tend to produce automatons.

    Modern armies in technology era require realtime solutions and creativity and problem solving has become a premium even in military training. They need guys who can design robots and not become robots themselves. Armies are allowing the officers to go on a sabbatical to broaden their vistas.

    Military leadership training is regimentation; of course its virtues are it focuses on clear cut objectives, uses readymade templates offering solutions and optimises the use of resources to achieve best results. But it stifles creative problem solving in green field areas.

    The ordinary citizen needs to learn to think out of the box if the nation has to evolve solutions for national problems in which every citizen will have ownership. So education must enable to achieve this as military training is not the solution.Of course military can chip in always to resolve crisis management problems; but long term solutions like the elusive ethnic reconciliation in Sri Lanka require peoples involvement from all sides.

    Sri Lanka has this extraordinary opportunity to evolve its own model because its a compact country where leader-people interaction can be personalised. But the national leadership has squandered 5 years in pursuing its own dreams. Militarization will follow military leadership training because most of the guys in uniform think only they know the right solution which is not true if we see the American fiasco is in its serial wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Syria. Civilian leadership has to learn to translate visions into missions and develop clearcut time-bound objectives. Dont allow military to do this job for the country; Burma did it and Gen Newin put the clock back by three decades in the country to become a classic basket case of military rule.

    My request to the Professor is please dont look at Pakistan models for education and leadership training which would be disastrous for Sri Lanka. Israel is no better role model despite its great scientific and technology achivements. Evolve your own model, let people make mistakes but learn to correct them. People must be involved in governance; not military. That is the bottomline.

    • 1
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      Col R Hariharan,
      It’s true what you say. But I tell you, with current Lankan culture and aspiration, i.e. of fellows selling all their lands and taking the wealth of Lanka to e.g. US, plus with their brains, conferred upon them by the free Lankan university system (from the taxes of those who go to the ME), Sri Lanka doesn’t stand a chance. The only thing left is for a system with Gota and the military to get things rolling.

      And one would never find any other country in Asia with quite the same culture and aspiration as of Sri Lankans – how shameful on Lanka is this! Time for the universities to start a program in citizenship and patriotism – i.e. before an essential dictatorial system creeps in to halt all defectors of society from leaving the motherland, with Lankan wealth and brains.

    • 1
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      I think this Indian Military man has no clue what so ever about how things happen in Sri lanka.
      He thinks that using the army for doing Urban development etc is “militarization”. No, it is De-militerization of the army, gradually, by bringing the boys into civil works. Napolean did the same thing. Canada is doing the same thing with their “Hard hats for Helmets” program for the soldiers returning from Afghanistan. Many other countries (also Aussies) do the same thing, to various degrees.
      You can’t just disband a large army because they have been trained to shoot, lay mines, blow up bridges etc. They have to be slowly weaned out from those habits.

      This colonel failed in fighting the LTTE and his IPKF had to go back in disgrace.

      The “leadership training” and English training in a camp setting” programs are excellent for our book-worm kinds jaded by years of private tuition.

      • 0
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        Col R Hariharan is an Indian, is he?!!! Perfect what you say, Bodin!

  • 0
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    RW is narrating a lot of stuff about his experience as an MP – national list – in the government.
    What will he say about the killing of his deputy Ketheish Loganathan of the so-called “Peace Secretariat’ ?
    Ketheish was shot dead at 9 pm at the front door of his house in Dehiwela by uniformed men who arrived in a vehicle without number plates, and escaped through many police and army check points, and vanished!

  • 0
    0

    Manel Fonseka says
    Actually Rajiva’s sentence here is not ungrammatical — “was much appreciated” DOES agree with its singular subject, namely “the opportunity”.
    Not really, this is known as the fallacy of according the verb with the closest component of a subject where the components are attached together by “and”.

    See one of the editions of Eric Partridge like “Use and abuse of English”, or “Good English Usage (Oxford University Press).
    Or, as one does now a days, just Google it.

    Rule 4. As a general rule, use a plural verb with two or more subjects when they are connected by and.

    Example: A car and a bike are my means of transportation.

    Exceptions are if the two parts make a recognized compound whole.

    Example: This Bread and Breakfast is located close by.
    The ex-Professor and National-List politician has written this essay.

    It is indeed true that grammar is less important than conveying the message in a meaningful manner. In my note I suggested that readers can exercise themselves by combing through other articles by Rajeev. But even this article has enough mining to do.

    The opening sentence could easily mean that it was Lalith’s brother who was to come to politics!!!

    An ordinary guy like myself can be allowed to write Englsih with some mistakes. But I come from Rajeev’s father’s generation, and I knew the old man well enough to give him an occasional lift home when we met socially. In our days, if we wrote bad Englsih at school, it was the latter part of “Disce aut Discede”” that was applied to us (Learn or depart !).

    But an English professor has to be an example of good writing, or take the stand that Englsih style is irrelevant. If so, the message can be conveyed even if it is written in the way kids use ‘SMS texting’ on their cell phones!
    The Queen would NOT be amused.

    Also, look at the sentences in Rajeev’s essay containing Colombo-English genre errors that a good Englishman (leave aside an academic) would not possible put down in writing. Rajeev writes:

    I found that I had to coordinate work with regard to the many canals that wound their way through the city. The care of these, and their banks, were allocated to a dozen different agencies, and coordination between these was not easy.

    In good English, the word “between” is used for matters involving TWO parties. If it is more than two, English writers use “among”. In Colombo these nice distinctions are blurred, and people says things like, “Aney, these relations are fighting between them; they don’t know how to divide the boodale’ between them” etc. Rajeev’s English is in the same league as that of his most distinguished Colombo Aunties.

    Furthermore, would you say “between these” (as found in Rajeev’s writing), or “between them” (as I wrote, without hesitation)? The Englsih Prof. has a lot of things to clarify. He just needs to read good English instead of reading the memos coming up from his ministry,.

    Why did Rajeev leave the government? He was working very hard to get an ambassador’s job for himself, and get on the pedestal like his friend Dayan J. He himself explained (in some of his articles), how articulate he was in defending the Rajapaksa regime against attacks from its critics. He seems to be proud of his articulations. However, his “counter-attacks” were labyrinthine circumlocutions where the meaning was unclear to the listener, and even to the speaker who gets his verbs and subjects constantly mixed up. This error in according the verb to the subject is not infrequent with Rajeev.

    Rajeev had referred to Oranee Jansz, a lass who did a science degree; she has better analytical skills and articulates more clearly, because she uses short, manageable sentences. May be Rajeev should get Oranee Jansz to read through his stuff and get them re-written.

    Having failed to get his coveted diplomatic mission (and repeatedly attacked G. L. Peiris for it, but not the Raja), the ex-Professor and National-List politician has slunk to the Sirisena camp, finally attaking the Raja himself.

    Does Mr. Sirisena need some GELT?

    • 0
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      ANONYMOUS (why dont you come out from behind the veil since this is just a simple discussion of grammar?)

      I have PARTRIDGE right here – the 3rd edition. Pages 9 & 10 refer to false agreement & none of the egs given support your refutation of my position. The verb “was…appreciated” has to agree with its subject, namely “the opportunity” to do something, i.e. (1) and (20 Below.

      Your fallacy is mistaking the subject, of which the latter entities here are but a complement.. or an integral part of “the opportunity”. It is the OPPORTUNITY that is appreciated

      However, of course one wd write “Working together and deploying a range of skills were appreciated.”

      “Certainly all students who followed the course enjoyed it hugely, and the opportunity (1) to work together with others from different backgrounds), and (2) [to] deploy a range of skills in coordination with others), was much appreciated”

      And I dont need to Google or read Partridge e to know that. Have been reading & writing the lingo for nearly a century now!

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      Besides, ANONYMOUS, none of the egs u have given can be compared with Rajiva’s slightly more complex sentence. Yrs are very simple sentences. You’ll have to find a better eg to fault his usage.

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    The same people who killed Thiruchelvam, and who did not want any accord between the two parties did it.

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    How touching to see former colonial subjects having an heating discussion over our lingua franca.

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    The ones attacking Rajiva for his mistakes in English are forgetting that it is after all a foreign language. However, if that is all that is being attacked, he should be pleased as they are not faulting his message. English is a living language, that changes with usage. Every year, Oxford University Press publishes the new words that have come into use and mistakes now deemed correct after wide usage. The English written and spoken by the Scots and people up North, is vastly different to the English written and spoken in the South, but nobody there gives a toss. I am amazed we seem to care so much. Wake up people, our country is being ruined by ruthless dictators and we are letting them continue by concentrating on the trivial.

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