23 October, 2017

Mandela, Ethics And Emancipation

By Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

“… I have always regarded myself, in the first place, as an African patriot…” (Mandela, 1964)

We in Africa are used to being victims of countries wanting to carve up our territory or subvert our sovereignty…” (Mandela, 1991)

The great Sri Lankan editor and Newsweek columnist Tarzie Vittachi, who preferred Jung to Freud, used to say that “everything is about something else”. So it is with the obituaries of Nelson Mandela. What is said by the western liberals and their pro-western Lankan epigone is not as important as what is left unsaid. The eulogies for Mandela have gutted him and turned him into a stuffed figure. What has been gutted is everything that goes against the Western liberal cosmopolitan consensus. While Mandela has been elevated to a saint who should be emulated by mere mortals such as the current leaders of the Third World, the content of his message and project has also been distorted, diluted and downsized to something that can be accommodated within the parameters of Western liberal cosmopolitanism. Thus it is that in an ideological sleight of hand, this great emancipationist has been turned into a Madame Tussaud’s waxwork and incorporated into a hegemonic discourse.

The enormous intellectual dishonesty and hypocrisy that is involved in this exercise is best evidenced by the obliteration of three crucial ‘moments’ of the Mandela narrative and discourse. One is the leftwing component or aspect of his formation. The second and more important is the identification of the critical turning point in his release from prison and indeed in the downfall of apartheid as a system. The third is the structuring of Mandela’s political ethics and morality and the hierarchy within that structure.

While according due place to Nietzsche’s observation that there are no facts, only interpretations, it is also a fact that Mandela had his own interpretation of the critical turning point in his freedom from jail and of the trajectory of the anti-apartheid struggle. This has been ignored by the dominant reconstructions of Mandela’s ideas and political practice.

Even more significant is the moral and ethical factor. If any single cause is seen to be responsible for the enormous respect that Mandela enjoyed and always will well after his death, it has been the moral and ethical high ground that he occupied. It is however, unknown, ignored and obliterated from the record that Mandela himself identified a higher ground in terms of political and historical morality and felt himself humbled by those and that which occupied that higher ground. Who and what did Mandela the Moralist and Ethicist, salute as occupying an exemplary higher ground; who and what did Mandela place on a higher rung of a moral hierarchy?

Before we explore these crucial questions, let us first deal with the unacknowledged aspect of Mandela’s intellectual and political formation. It is hardly surprising that it is The Economist, London, once referred to by Karl Marx as the most intelligent defender of capitalism, which has demonstrated the intellectual confidence and journalistic integrity to surface that aspect.

“…His views about communism were less evolutionary. In the 1950s he had pictures of Lenin and Stalin on the walls of his home in the Johannesburg township of Orlando. He was influenced by Marx and made common cause with the Communist Party of South Africa; his writings then were full of sub-Marxist drivel. And he continued to the end to hold in deep affection such people as Joe Slovo, the chairman of the party, who was to him “dear comrade, dear brother, dear friend”, but to his opponents the “KGB general”. Mr Mandela insisted he was not a communist, though. He saw the ANC’s bond with the communists as a link with the only group that would treat Africans as equals and as a natural alliance with his enemies’ enemy…” (The Economist)

Of far greater import was Mandela’s own identification of the turning point in his story; his naming of the factor and the timing that opened the prison doors.

What makes his narrative even more significant is Mandela’s own tracing of the decisive factors in the defeat and fall of apartheid. In the narrative of the western liberals and their Lankan mimics, Mandela’s release and the defeat of apartheid was due to non violent agitation, economic and sports boycotts, music concerts in the West and above all, civil society pressure in the First World. While all these were certainly contributory, they were far from being the crucial reasons according to Mandela himself. The Western and Lankan liberal discourse completely omits that crucial reason.

“…The crushing defeat of the racist army at Cuito Cuanavale was a victory for the whole of Africa! The defeat of the apartheid army was an inspiration to the struggling people inside South Africa! Without the defeat of Cuito Cuenavale our organizations would not have been unbanned! The defeat of the racist army at Cuito Cuenavale has made it possible for me to be here today! Cuito Cuenavale has been a turning point in the struggle to free the continent and our country from the scourge of apartheid!

The decisive defeat of Cuito Cuenavale altered the balance of forces within the region and substantially reduced the capacity of the Pretoria regime to de-stabilise its neighbours. This in combination with our people’s struggles within the country was crucial in bringing Pretoria to the realization that it would have talk.” (Nelson Mandela, ‘How Far We Slaves Have Come’, Pathfinder press, New York, 1991, pp.9-10)

It is noteworthy that Mandela places the military defeat of the apartheid army at Cuito Cuenavale as the factor which in combination with the peoples struggles within South Africa, forced the apartheid state to recognise that it could no longer maintain its rule in the old way and would have to seek a negotiated solution. Thus for Mandela the two main factors were the military defeat of the racist armies at Cuito and the mass struggles of the people within South Africa. He does not mention any other factors. Even in this itemization he speaks of the military defeat, combined with the mass struggle within South Africa.

What is he referring to? The battle of Cuito Cuenavale which Mandela recognized as utterly decisive in its effects, took place in 1988 on the Angola–Namibia border. On the one side were the powerful invading formations of the armed forces of South Africa, a state which had a tremendous military arrogance not only because of racism but also because it already possessed a small stockpile of nuclear weapons thanks to its axis with Zionist Israel. On the other were the Cuban volunteers including Cuban air force fighter bombers, supporting the armed forces of Angola’s revolutionary government and the Namibian guerrillas of SWAPO.

According to a Sir Leycester Coltman, a retired British ambassador, “Fidel Castro personally kept a tight grip on operations. For nearly a year starting November 1987, he devoted 80% of his time to the war in Angola, taking an interest in the smallest tactical deployments, and even in the rations and hours of sleep allowed to his troops. He saw Cuito Cuenevale as his Stalingrad, the rock on which the South African military machine would be broken, paving the way for the fall of the apartheid regime.” (Coltman, ‘The Real Fidel Castro’, pp. 257-8)

The arrogance and myth of invincibility of the South African state was shattered by the crushing defeat at Cuito in late 1988. Negotiations commenced, involving the US and with the Cubans on the independence of Namibia. The mood changed albeit in drastically divergent directions, among the blacks and the white establishment. Less than two years later, in 1990, Mandela was released.

The Western liberal imagination (and certainly the dwarfish imagination of civil society progressives and liberals in Sri Lanka) cannot conceive of a Mandela who would provide a testimonial for any society or state on moral and ethical grounds. The fact is that he did so, unambiguously and fulsomely – and it was very much an exception in his discourse. What were the place, phenomenon and process that received this rousing endorsement?

“…We come here with a great sense of humility. We come here with great emotion. We come here with a great sense of debt owed to the people of Cuba. What other country can point to a greater record of selflessness than Cuba has displayed in its relations with Africa? How many countries of the world benefit from Cuban health workers and educationists? Where is the country that has sought Cuban help and had it refused? How many countries under threat from imperialism or struggling for national liberation have been able to count on Cuban support?

It was in prison when I first heard of the massive assistance that the Cuban internationalist forces provided to the people of Angola, on such scale that one hesitated to believe, when the Angolans came under the combined attack of South Africans, CIA financed FLNA, mercenary, UNITA and Zairian troops in 1975.

We in Africa are used to being victims of countries wanting to carve up our territory or subvert our sovereignty. It is unparalleled in African history to have another people rise in defence of one of us.

We also know this was a popular action in Cuba. We are aware that those who fought and died in Angola were only a small proportion of those who volunteered. For the Cuban people, internationalism is not only a word…” (Nelson Mandela, ‘How Far We Slaves Have Come’, Pathfinder press, New York, 1991, pp.9-10)

Writing on the website of Al Jazeera, Simon Hooper discusses ‘Mandela the Radical’. Mandela’s radicalism was not the political correctness of civil society figures but a firm opposition to Western ‘liberal humanitarian’ interventionism as in Kosovo. It was also a radicalism that embraced figures who were hardly paragons of political correctness from a purely human rights point of view, but robust defenders of national sovereignty.

“…As a young man he had close ties to the South African Communist Party and plotted an armed uprising inspired by Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution in Cuba.

…Stephen Ellis, a professor of African history at VU University and the African Studies Centre in the Netherlands, believes that many people with only a vague awareness of Mandela’s struggle against apartheid are simply not aware of his youthful radicalism and commitment to violent means.

Mandela always denied being a card-carrying convert to Communism. But Ellis, in his most recent book, External Mission: The ANC In Exile, claimed to have uncovered documentary proof suggesting otherwise, albeit suggesting Mandela was more interested in securing support from Moscow or Beijing, rather than being a “heart and soul believer”.

“If you talk to many American liberals, they think Mandela was Martin Luther King,” Ellis said. “If you say, ‘No, Mandela started a guerrilla army, he was a Communist, he did this, he did that’, they just don’t get it. They don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Yet even later, as South African president from 1994 to 1999, Mandela would irk his friends in the west by expressing solidarity with leaders such as Cuba’s Castro and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, as well as finding common cause with the Palestinians in their struggle for statehood.

At a banquet in 1998 honouring Yasser Arafat, the then-Palestinian president, Mandela said: “You come as a leader of a people who have shared with us the experience of struggle for justice. Now that we have achieved our freedom, we have not forgotten our friends and allies who helped us liberate ourselves.”

Visiting Libya a year earlier, Mandela had greeted Gaddafi with a kiss on each cheek and said: “My brother leader, my brother leader, how nice to see you.”

Yet it was the Cuban revolution that held the highest place in his affections, a bond made stronger by his enduring friendship with Castro. On a visit to the Caribbean island in 1991, Mandela paid tribute to Che Guevara, calling his revolutionary exploits “too powerful for any prison censors to hide from us. The life of Che is an inspiration to all human beings who cherish freedom.”

David James Smith, author of Young Mandela, said: “He was very much inspired by the revolution in Cuba. He was studying what was going on in Cuba with a view to using that as a model for revolutionary activity in South Africa.”

Mandela’s gratitude extended to other members of the bloc of Communist nations that had backed the struggle against apartheid. In a speech in 1991 he also singled out the Soviet Union, East Germany and China for special mention, even as the political landscape of eastern Europe was being redrawn in the aftermath of the Cold War and despite Beijing’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests in 1989.

…Mandela, even after leaving office in 1999, remained fiercely outspoken in condemning what he saw as flagrant western imperialism. In 2003 he lambasted the United States and the United Kingdom for “attempting to police the world” over their military intervention in Kosovo in 1999 and the invasion of Iraq, even suggesting that moves to undermine the United Nations were motivated in part by the rise of a black African, Kofi Annan, to the office of secretary general.

He also urged US citizens to take to the streets in protest at moves to attack Iraq, accusing US President George W Bush of wanting to “plunge the world into a holocaust”.

“If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America,” he added.

Hain, then a minister in Tony Blair’s British government, recalls Mandela phoning him up at the time of the build-up to the invasion of Iraq as angry as he had ever heard him.

“He was just very angry and worried,” Hain said. “But I fully understood why; he is a man of principle. He would do things that offended the Bill Clintons and the Tony Blairs, like he would say to Fidel Castro, ‘Thank you for supporting us’, and visit Cuba, or he’d do the same to Gaddafi in Libya.”

Smith believes Mandela would have been deeply uncomfortable with efforts to de-radicalise his legacy by portraying him in bland terms as simply an inspirational and reconciliatory figure.

“There are many people around him who believe he has been devalued by the use of his celebrity,” he said. “He stood for very firm anti-racist, anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist values. Yes, he would go and do business with the West, but ideologically he would always be first with Castro and independence leaders in Africa...” (Simon Hooper, Al Jazeera, Friday Dec 6th 2013)

It is rankest hypocrisy then, to read, see and hear the salutations to Mandela by those who obliterate the real history of the turning points in Mandela’s and the South African peoples’ long walk to freedom; to read the invocation of Mandela by those “countries wanting to carve up our territory or subvert our sovereignty” and by those Sri Lankans who cheer such countries and such efforts on, seeking to piggyback on them instead of resisting them. It is heartening that Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and territorial integrity have been and still our defended in the international arena by precisely those countries and peoples that earned such unprecedentedly high moral commendation by Nelson Mandela, a moral and ethical giant of our age.

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Latest comments

  • 11
    2

    After giving CHOGM Fiasco a miss, Northern CM’s ongoing battles with Governor for implementing the powers granted to it under the 13th amendment of the constitution, our Rip Van Winkle Dayan has woken up to shed copious tears on the demise of Visionary Mandela for reconciling the communities of South Africa.

    Dayan, When are u going to take the next diplomatic assignment from Colombo ????

  • 6
    0

    Mandela and the elders group he belonged to have criticized your king-what do you say to that.

    (by the way, how is the bootlicking for Geneva 2014 going?)

    Oh, before I forget, say hi to your NGO friends :)

  • 0
    5

    I’m certain that once the NE achieves independence, the leaders of the worlds newest state will resist any efforts to “carve out its territory or subvert its sovereignty”. They will surely value their territorial integrity (land, maritime and air) above all else – after all it was achieved through incredible sacrifice and dedication over many generations.

  • 8
    1

    This guy will go round and round and round and finally ends up at praising the war and making MR the political wizard or some sort. A guy who has racist tendencies lives, upholds and dies with his cranky ideas. Let Dayan be burnt in hell like his adorable dear master MR after his death.

    • 4
      2

      Unfortunately for this writer, everything goes haywire.
      I wish him to get elected as the lanken Ambassador to the US, but I dont think that MR would reconsider his, looking at his inconsistencies over the years.

  • 4
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    Dear Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, ……………………………………..

    “… I have always regarded myself, in the first place, as an African patriot…” (Mandela, 1964)…………………………………..

    The core Problem in Sri Lanka..that prevents the formation of an Egalitarian Society……………………………………
    …………………………………………………………
    One can make the claim of Sinhala and Tamils have always regarded themselves, in the first place, as an Sinhala Buddhist,Tamil, and not as Sri Lankan or Ceylonese …….

    • 0
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      Dr. Dayan, The First Interview By Nelson Mandela in 1961 …………………………………………….

      Nelson Mandela first interview 1961 ………………….

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXxsdrAgYfo …..
      …………………………………………………………
      Remarkable! Nelson Mandela’s first TV interview. He shot this while still in hiding from the Boer. Haunted by the South African government for years until his capture, its amazing to watch and listen to his passion for his cause. Nelson Mandela is a legend that I believe will transcend time and the generations to come. The world and the African continent has lost one of its principle treasures. Long live Mandela!

  • 4
    2

    Hey Dayan,
    Have you no shame? In characterizing this great humanist Mandela’s protest against Apartheid you wrote “the protest against Apartheid was rooted in the need for majoritarian control” thus justifying majoritarian aspiration of the Sinhala Budhists. What a moronic statement! Have you considered apologizing for your stupidity, despite all your education?! After making such a dim-witted statement, what gives you any credibility to write in praise about Mandela now – aren’t you writing merely to be counted, and not because of any shared-passion?
    Mandela apologized for the war-dead. You, instead, spearheaded whole heartedly war victory celebrations – shamelessly playing for the gallery and in servile boot-licking that has come to characterize you!
    After Weliverya, you wondered rather loudly “how horrible a fate the Tamils must have faced and continue to face under this Government?” You are still to answer why you changed your view so drastically from the stand in Geneva. The President thought you were SERVICING some NGO. At Geneva, all you did was to stall the inevitable, and you did that to placate the Regime towards your long-yearning for near-royal lifestyle at tax payer’s expense. Your sins are now coming to bite the whole country in their you-know-whats. Had you taken any steps that Mandela would have been proud of – truthful, fair, humanitarian and worthy of an education — don’t you think the country would have made much, much greater progress in the last four years and will not be now facing an avalanche of accusations and an obvious and fast approaching dismal future as a pariah state? Is it in recognition of your miserable failure that you are now in a hurry to shift gears and show your umpteenth mask, this time a ‘humanitarian’ face?

    • 2
      2

      This is a necessary thoughtful article by Dayan. Reflects originality and analyses. The same thing was said of Gandhi. Look at the state of India today. What are you so excited about? Your recent articles by China, was it not made up from others?

      Dr. N. Satchi UK

  • 2
    1

    Every Sri Lankan politicians and political commentators it seems wnat a slice of Mandela and jumping on the Mandela wagon.

    They are not even qualified to clean Mandela’s toilet

  • 3
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    Liberal humanism is not western or eastern, but universal. Mandela’s greatness is not his anti-imperialism or any other such radicalism but his humanism, which enabled him, once he achieved the goal of freedom and was elevated to power, to transcend parochialisms of all kinds, and be magnanimous and accommodating in victory. He had the intellect and the practical sense to use Marxism to gain freedom, but having gained it, to move on to higher ground, and use the freedom and power he gained to further democratic goals. That stands in stark contrast to leaders who use victories gained by sacrificing the blood of the oppressed to stifle democratic freedoms, institute dictatorships replete with corruption, nepotism, abductions and murder. Mandella will be remembered not for kissing the Gadaffi on each cheek, but for rejecting what Gadaffi and his likes stood for, and extending a warm hand of friendship to his defeated former oppressor and enemy.

  • 2
    2

    Dayan invented an “external threat” to sri lanka to justify the militarisation of the north and east, which led to massive human rights violations against tamils.
    Tamils will never forget this.
    Were not tamils correct in asking for indian intervention,just as Mandela praised Cuban intervention in Angola.
    The video above shows that Mandela beleived in armed resistence to the south african white majoritarianism.

  • 1
    2

    Dr [Edited out] i live in my land occupied by sinhala modayas, they all have primitive brain, buggers looking for free for everything. I beleive sinhala modyas culture and their damn leaders….

    • 0
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      j.muthu …….. Is Banda your new neighbour? Love Thy Neighbour.

  • 2
    0

    DJ is back on Mandela’s coffin.

    SL is not South Africa although Tamils look like south Africans.

    A solution to DEPORT Tamils back to Tamil Nadu should be implemented.

    • 1
      1

      @fatshitma, you racist pig has nothing to say but talk garbage about the Tamils. If you are this brave, why don’t you come out in the open and talk like this?

    • 0
      0

      Fukushima;
      You are still missing the “c” in your last name and it seems you have crossed the line from simply being bad to being mad, in addition.

    • 0
      0

      Fat ” Mama ” Fuk U Shima. Who does Sanath remind you of.

  • 2
    1

    Sinhala Desh patriots Dayan and 26 other dyed-in-wool Sinhala extremists are working out contorted arguments to “defend” Sri Lankan regime in the UN in March 2014.

    Best of luck to our opportunist friend.

  • 3
    0

    The ‘Political Scientist’ is back!
    Hail!

  • 2
    1

    Dayan, for once you are right. The western world is hypocritical – but not more so than you. It is to your credit that you were once part of a terrorist organization and was rewarded with a ministership in the North East Provincial Council. But it suited you to betray the trust they placed on you and work with Preme to oust the Indians – your Dumb Patriotic Play. After the Indians are gone you want the 13th Amendment to be implemented. They were their to implement it and dying for it too. But Preme’s – pea brain saw some wisdom in your patriotic play. Then when the war was being won – you were the “anti terrorism” champ – giving the home bread gonnas – the false impression that the white world is with them in vanquishing terrorism and ready to applaud their victory. Then they wonder – why none of the white folks congratulate them for their achievement. You led them up the garden path once again in great style. Hold on to that “Patriotism” – because it is reserved for scoundrels.

  • 3
    1

    an another verbose Script of his style :(

    Anyway, bit strange why the writer did not utter a single word yet about the CHOGM circus

  • 2
    1

    Tamils who support LTTE and Prabhakaran, a grade seven dropout criminal, have nothing to bark at Dayan!

    • 0
      0

      Sivanathan you Sinkalam you can BARK but you cannot BITE any more. I am glad that you have turned in to a Tamil by taking a Tamil name. The next step is to learn the Language and start listening to Tamil Music. Poka Poka Therium.

  • 1
    0

    Mandela is respected by the whole world not because he was in prison for 27 years, not because he approved violence against violence but because he forgave the oppressors thus preventing the biggest bloodbath in the history of the South Africa and formed a government with equal political opportunities for the blacks, the whites, the coloured and the Indians.And he went home after the first term in office though he could be there till his death.
    I have serious doubt that Dayan is singing for bread.And I am losing respect I had for him.
    Dayan think hard. Be a man of principle.Opportunists will never be remembered with respect. A person of your calibre should not be an opportunist for bread.Think out of the box. Speak and write for the oppressed. Only those who speak for the oppressed have a moral right to write on Mandela.

  • 0
    0

    .
    DJ, in 2009, you were able to defeat the motion against SL in Geneva, not only you defeated, you were able to pass a motion praising SL. You did all this by giving promises to SL friends. MaRa is not ready to do what you promised and you were punished for giving those promises. How things now?
    :-)

  • 3
    0

    PM Cameron evidently took a Sanctions Busting Jolly, when poor Mandela was sledge hammering Limestone in Robin Island……Wonder whether the PM mention that in his Eulogy and seek repentance???…..Will the South African or other similar minded Nations ask the PM whether he is a Born Again, when he pulls out the red flag against a poor nation for eliminating the scourge of three decades long Terrorism, which was launched and financed mainly from the funds provided from his Country…..

  • 1
    0

    @ Kumar R. Spot on ! I have nothing to say, you said it all. Thank you !

  • 1
    0

    I too am in full agreement with DJ here. I was wondering when neocon scum bags would leave this dead man alone. Weeping bastards are using him even to his burrial site.

  • 3
    1

    Oh God!!! Now dostara DJ is trying to ride
    on Nelson Mandela. What ethics and emancipation
    for a conman who is crying for a new posting?

    • 3
      0

      He is not a dosthara, but a PhDer okay ?

      What matters is – the learnt doctor seem to have lost somewhere somehow ?

      Tamara K deserves further respect. She atleast stays silent, not coming with any kind of preposterous articles of DJ sort.

  • 2
    1

    Dr Dyan J is such an intellect and a real asset for Sri Lanka.

    I feel real sorry for all the fools who once hero-worshipped the ‘sun god’ and are now hell bent on punishing Sri Lanka and her patriotic citizens for dealing with their ‘sun god’ in the language he understood best. :)

    ” Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.” ~ Nelson Mandela 1996 Hamba Kahle Tata

  • 0
    0

    Jazz, lets worship the sun god together. ” When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country ” the problem here is the “his people” bit. This is where the sun gods go into total eclipse.

    Hey Dayan, In case you are have not noticed, Fathima Fukushima has got the hots for you. That should tell you a lot about your self.

  • 1
    0

    The world relates to Mandela not for his association with the Cubans but for speaking to the human condition about love and forgiveness, staggeringly manifested when he appeared at a rugby game wearing a Springbok’s jersey.

    Something for the BBS, its patrons, and the millions of hate-filled Sri Lankans both in Sri Lanka and outside who are choking on their toxicity:

    “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
    Nelson Mandela (1919 -2013) RIP

  • 4
    1

    Ms Thalanbatu DJ avoids mention of CHOGM because he would get into the bad books of MR and then no chance of a foreign billet. This is why he never criticizes the government but is ready to pull our a dead duck like Ranil and attack him. Ranil is his scapegoat

    • 0
      1

      Well said, not just any foreign posting but Geneva 2014 !

    • 0
      0

      I think now there is no big difference his and Mervin (not his father but murderous mervin of MR regime).
      Maluwa wanasenne kata nisalune… hiki hiki

  • 1
    1

    NOTHING is as obscene as this b..d talking about ETHICS. The next thing you know, Colonel Sanders will be delivering an eulogy to dead chickens. I am most surprised that this stooge, in his efforts to return to the well-paid fold of the Rajapassa’s, hasn’t put his patrons into the same category as Nelson Mandela. I suppose I should be patient and wait for that to (inevitably) happen!

  • 0
    1

    In Sri Lanka too, it will be the defeat of the racist army that finally signals the rise of democracy.

    • 0
      0

      Old Man You are Crazy. How are you going to defeat 20 million strong Racist Army the biggest Army in the World. In fact bigger than the entire Army of the rest of the World.

  • 0
    0

    Dayan you always the Optimist: Mandela, Ethics And Emancipation is what the Tamil Struggle is all about in Sinhala Lanka.

  • 0
    0

    In a topsy-turvy world bathed in what is mostly negative 24×7 news of human misery and the avaricious nature of corporate dominance and its own many foibles to learn of Nelson Mandela, and all his fine humane qualities, is a welcome break from the norm. Mandela ended the inequity of racial segregation in a resourceful country, certainly with help from the much maligned international community. And for that we owe him respect, honour and indeed gratitude. But is South Africa
    socially, economically and politically a better haven for its vast
    multitudes today. The strong Rand dropped substantially after Mandela took over. He could not improve substantially the condition of his people with the enormous advantage of huge natural resources at his command. Granted – a new class of Black millionaires emerged during the post-Apartheid period. But the lot of the average S. African black remained dismal. There were recurrent conflicts between labour and management in the larger mines – no longer in total White control. Law and Order continues to be a huge problem. Bishop Tutu’s house was burgled at the very hour he was paying his tributes to his late friend. President Zuma was booed. Former President Mbeki worries about the immediate socio-political of the vast land unified by the White colonialists.

    But Mandela must be given credit when he refused to take the Mugabe pseudo-nationalistic path. Instead of alienating the White S. African community and its economic power, creative talents and experience he took them as a partner and S. Africa avoided the brink.

    Mandela’s South Africa broke the back-bone of white-ruled apartheid with armed help from Cuba, Libya, Russia and many South African countries in the neighbourhood that provided them with regular supply of arms and men. Ethics and Morality alone cannot free enslaved people under the jackboot of numerically and qualitatively superior armed power is clearly the message here. If outside help to free Mandela’s S.Africa from a cruel and uncaring regime is good for S.Africa it is just as good elsewhere. A growing line of the international community, UN sanctions, trade, social and sports boycotts all played their part in warning the Afrikaaner rulers they have to give in to justice and natural law. R2P was unheard of then – as it is now.

    The Rajapakse Sri Lanka will do well to draw its own conclusions from the recent South African experience.

    Senguttuvan

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