26 September, 2020

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‘Māra’ Actions Of Maithri

By P. Soma Palan

P. Soma Palan

I refer to the news Report in the Daily Mirror of 5h December, under the heading “Instability will end in a week”, where views expressed by the President, Maithripala Sirisena, at the Annual Convention of the SLFP, were given, and also to his latest new theory, that is a “struggle between National and Foreign thinking “, which appeared in the Daily Mirror of 10th December. I wish to comment on bot

The President made triple actions, one after another, which can be described in the popular Sinhala market language as “Māra”, which I guess is devilish, and far from Maithri. (a) He sacked the Prime Minister of the Country in one shot, and appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa as new Prime Minister (b) Prorogued Parliament to preempt a Motion of No Confidence against the new PM, allowing space to garner sufficient majority from the Opposition by bidding a price, like at the IPL auction, to entice the would be Hop, Step Jumpers.

Petitions filed in the Appeal and Supreme Courts

The President had declared at the outset at the Convention that “I would honour and accept whatever ruling passed by the two apex Courts in the Country.” In the same breadth, he pronounced a counter view of the people, which really is his view that “people in the Country hold different views on the recent Orders given by the Courts. Some say it was a good one and others say it was like the Chief Incumbent of a temple making a preaching that should have been delivered by the Mahanayake of the Nikaya”. This is certainly not the mark of a person who would “honour and accept” the rulings of Judicial Courts. This is, contemptibly denigrating the highest Judicial Courts to that of a Temple Incumbent. What matters is not the opinion of the public, but the Judicial decisions of the Courts. The Courts are temples of Justice, higher than the temples of Mahanayakes.

The Rationale for Quitting the SLFP

The President MS says that “I quit the SLFP to fight against corruption, selling of State assets, waste and collapse of the rule of law”. But deliberately omits to mention under whose rule these happened. Also states that on 26th October, “I took a decision, on the same reasons, to fire Ranil Wickremasinghe, PM and appoint Mahinda Rajapaksa to replace him”. Isn’t it sheer lunacy to restore the same corrupt Mahinda Rajapaksa as PM, whom he vigorously fought to get rid of?  The Prez says the two decisions he took (a) to quit the SLFP and (b) fire Ranil as PM “were correct, prudent and timely decisions”. Decision (a) is not disputed. But (b) is questionable. It is not his subjective view of what is correct, prudent and timely is, what is required, but scrupulously and stringently acting according to the Constitution of the country.  Further, he says that the “objective of those judgments were to restore decency, the rule of law and spiritual cleanliness in the Society”. 

The events that followed showed how true it was. We saw this being launched in the solemn Assembly, the Parliament, by unleashing  indecency, law of the jungle, spiritual depravity, violence, thuggery, hooliganism, and man-handling the Speaker and usurping his Chair.

Destroying the hopes of 6.2 million Voters

The President, MS states that “from the very beginning Ranil started to destroy all the hopes kept by 6.2m of voters and trampled all the pledges and undertakings”.  As the President and Head of the Cabinet, how could he absolve himself of all the accusations, and blame it on Ranil Wickremesinghe, the PM. Isn’t it that he and the Cabinet of Ministers are collectively responsible, if there was a failure? The primary aim of the Government in 2015, was to bring all corrupt politicians before the judicial Courts by prosecuting and punishing them. There was dilly dallying and procrastination in investigations and charging indictments against wrong doers. In fact, the President was a stumbling block. His loyalties still was with the defeated Rajapaksa. He played the role of a Fifth Columnist in the Government. God only knows at what price? President says it is difficult to work with Ranil. Strangely, no other SLFP Ministers have said, they cannot work with Ranil. But, Ranil set up the Special Courts to deal with the cases under investigation against corrupt politicians, and imminent prosecutions in Courts was due.  President’s surreptitious support for the former President for the last three years came to the open, with the special Courts coming to function. Thus a sinister conspiracy was hatched in collusion with Rajapaksa. Accordingly, President precipitated a crisis by sacking the PM, proroguing and later dissolving the Parliament and issuing a Proclamation for a General Election. A well planned action to create a constitutional crisis, instability of Governance and to force a premature General Election, where Rajapaksa could exploit the ignorance of the masses, in his favour. All these sinister happenings were motivated by one single factor, to save the Rajapaksa family from being hauled before the Special Courts. The claim to save the country from disaster of the Ranil  Government, was a mere, slogan.

President’s reference to Ranil ruined the UNP, is a calculated attempt to drive a wedge within that Party and nothing else. It is a matter for the members of the UNP to judge whether Ranil ruined their Political Party or not, and not the concern of the President of the SLFP.

Alien Economic Policies

President, MS says that “ Ranil’s alien economic policies ruin our country”. Do we have alternate indigenous economic policies, in the first place? Does he want to revert to the retrogressive economic parochialism of the ancient times? That is, the Tank and the plough economy (No alien Tractor). The truth is that, all our economic development is due to the alien West. We owe our economic development to alien Sciences and technologies. The latest xenophobic “Mantra” the neo-nationalists chant nowadays is ,“neoliberalism, and Globalisation”. We Asian Nations owe all our modern economic developments and economic progress to Western (alien) materialism. This is an undeniable truth. We are not Inventors, innovators of Industrial technologies and sciences. Had our national minded political leaders shun alien western sciences and technology from the very beginning, we would have remained in the dark ages of ancient times, till now.

The world has changed and constantly changing all the time. We have to keep abreast with modern developments. If we isolate ourselves and be like the frogs in the well, we have to discard all progressive economic policies and be satisfied with an agrarian economy, and not an industrial economy. Materialism and material advancement is the gift of the West, as much as spiritualism is the gift of the Orient to the world. Shutting ourselves to Western materialistic advancement and rejecting it as alien and unsuitable to us, is burying our heads in the sand, like the proverbial Camels.

The world is shrinking, metaphorically, and Nations becoming closer and closer by Information and Communication Technology. National boundaries are blurring, economically.  Narrow Nationalism is giving way to Internationalism. There is regional economic integration like the European Union, NAFTA, ASEAN, and bilateral Free Trade Agreements between Nations. Economic boundaries are crumbling with Trade liberalization, free flow of Capital, Investments in Transnational Corporatization, International Joint Ventures, Transfers of Technologies, Human Resource mobility etc. Clinging on to narrow Nationalism and economic parochialism and treating economic advancement as Western Alienism, is backward, and not forward thinking.

The Northern Factor

President MS accused Ranil of deceiving the people of the North. Deceiving the people of the North is an ingrained customary policy of all the Majoritarian politicians, since we gained Independence. But Ranil and, also Chandrika Kumaratunga, made some sincere, tentative efforts to solve the problem of the Northern people. MS says “Ranil deliberately ignored to provide facilities to the Northern people.” What the people of the North are yearning for, is not “facilities”, but real recognition of their due rights as a distinct historical community of the country. This, Ranil attempted to do this, by drafting a new Constitution for the country, by giving North East regional autonomy and self-government. But this process was undermined by MS and the drafting of the new Constitution by the Constitutional Assembly was scuttled by MS and his bandwagon of Sinhala Buddhist racists and the obscurantist Buddhist Clergy.

Undemocratic Mindset of MS

MS has stated that “I am determined not to reappoint Ranil as the PM, even if the entire 225 MPs demanded so”. This reveals what a true Democrat he is. To override the wishes of the majority of the MPs of the Parliament, where Peoples Sovereignty is reposed, is not upholding democratic principles, but resurrecting a decadent dictatorship, which even the Communist Russia or China of modern day, will not resort to. His arrogant resistance to the wishes of the Parliament, is a palpable violation of,  Country’s, Constitution which, he is bound by Oath to uphold, protect and defend.

President MS States that, “Ranil must not be given the opportunity to run this country as he does not have a vision or plan for the country and nation”. Ranil is an educated, professional Lawyer with a modern outlook of the world and his vision and plan is to build Sri Lanka as a Modern State, based on modern Science and Technology with a higher standard of living and per capita income for its people. This is my perception of the man, which he conveys by the actions and policies he pursues, as a political leader. This is clear to the Intelligentsia of the country. His outlook is technocratic and meritocratic. He is for foreign Capital Investment inflows to the country in the form of Industrial Projects, either single or joint ventures with local capital, leading to industrial development, job creation, transfers of technical know-how to our people. Towards this objective he is for regional economic integration and increased trade between countries of the Asian region, by trade and tariff liberalization, through the mechanism of bilateral Free Trade Agreements with countries like India, Singapore of South Asia. His vision and plan is to industrialise and promote exports. It is this above stated vision and plan, the culturally biased parochial nationalists like the President MS and the ilk, call Neoliberalism of the West.

If not for the Technology and Sciences of the West, we will still be in a tribal economy. The people who decry Neoliberalism of the West, which is not suitable for our superior indigenous culture, should then discard all western originated technologies and the Sciences, and install our indigenous technologies and Sciences. For example, we must discard the Western Allopathic Medicine and replace it with only Ayurvedic Medicine. Will not this too be then alien and not suit us, since Ayurveda is an Indian Science of Medicine of Vedic origin, which we have borrowed. Likewise, we must discard the Western political Institutions and structures, Western Judicial system and Jurisprudence, Western technical and Engineering expertise, Western educational qualifications and everything western in origin, as alien and unsuitable for our country, and replace them with our primitive systems and institutions and/or with various’ Suttas’of Buddhism. The Prez MS’s and his like-minded Nationalists’ pathological affliction of Western Alienism would logically lead to label Christian, Islamic and even Hindu religions, as alien and not suitable to our country. This, I believe is the progressive vision and plan, the President MS has for our country.

Struggle between National and Foreign thinking

In the above  headed Daily Mirror report of 10th December, the President MS has said that the “current political crisis is not a conflict between the political parties or between him and UNP Leader, Ranil Wickreeasinghe, as some people attempt to portray, but a conflict between the national and alien thinking”. According to Prez MS, there is no political or Constitutional crisis currently in the country. Some people are portraying it as a constitutional crisis. This is a startling new perception of the crisis, we are embroiled in. It was engineered by the Western Imperialist forces. It implies that they sacked the PM Ranil, and prorogued and later dissolved Parliament and not Prez  MS. If so, what is this hullabaloo of Petitioning the Apex Courts, Interim Stay Orders, making the Government and Cabinet dysfunctional  etc, if it was not a conflict between political Parties or between him and UNP Leader and anti-constitutional actions, but only a conflict between” national and alien thinking”? According to Prez MS’s novel thinking there is no violation of the Constitution, and says that “the issue has come up now as a Constitutional crisis”. According to Prez MS’s fantastic logic, it is a contest between “National and Foreign thinking”. Here the words “foreign thinking” connotes not of foreign Imperialist forces, but Sri Lankans with foreign thinking. Obliquely, it refers to PM Ranil. Therefore, despite the initial denial of a conflict between him and Ranil at the outset, it seems now the conflict is between his national thinking and Ranil’s foreign thinking. When a person is universal, modern and progressive in outlook, in contrast to one, who is parochial, insular and backward in outlook, he is labeled with foreign thinking and the latter is self-styled with national thinking, particularly when, Ranil’s  dress is western slacks, shirt, coat and tie. The dress is the criteria for a person’s thinking. Western dress, western knowledge and education are considered anti- national and pro-western in thinking. But Ranil is true to himself and not a pretender, to don the White, so-called national dress, preferably with a Satakaya around the neck, in and out of Buddhist temples and genuflecting before Mahanayake Theros, cultivating populism for votes, in a lust for power. Ranil has no qualms wearing the western dress. But the national thinking politicians wear the national dress, without realizing that it is also alien, South Indian dress.

Conclusion

We faced political invasion by Western colonial powers and under subjugation to their rule. We rightly resisted and gained our independence. In the modern context of the world no nation is absolutely independent. All nations are inter-dependent in one form or other in varying degree of scale. This is the reality. Nations differ in size of the land, economy, population, natural resources, military Power, Wealth, and levels of development of sciences and technology, Industry, knowledge-based Human resource etc. We cannot shut ourselves from progressive world developments, whether it is from the West or East or North or South. We have to take the best, from all sources.

The Industrial Revolution came from the West and not from anywhere else in the world. Russia and China were then backward countries. Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution, under Lenin, opened up the country with his New Economic Policy of Western liberal Capitalist economic policies, which were adopted. This paved the way for industrialization and modernization of Russia. The same foreign economic thinking penetrated into China under Mao tse tung. Had these nations shut western influences as alien, these two countries would not have been powerful nations as of today. But puny Sri Lanka and its puny nationalist politicians think, western neoliberalism and economic policies are alien and not suitable for our great nation, which has our own indigenous economic policies for scientific and technological advancement of the country, based on our “national thinking” derived from the Buddhist scriptures (the Suttas). Little do they realize, we have nothing which we can call our, own. Leave aside the material, even our spiritual, the religion, culture and civilization is of Alien import, from India, both North and South. Sooner we shed our xenophobia of the West and, discard the narrow” nationalist thinking” that treats all productive and progressive economic policies as alien and unsuitable for our country, the better.

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Latest comments

  • 22
    0

    Yes Sir, if we apply the stupid xenophobic logic of nationalist charlatans like Sira, Mara, Weerawansa, Dayan and the unenlightened Buddhist clergy – rigorously, then everything that we use, cherish, and believe came from India (mostly south) and the West. Our technology, culture, music, language, religion, architecture, astrology, Ayurveda, the system of governance – even the dress – all came from the outside. But if we look at the world more sensibly using a bit of our intelligence, then we realize to our relief that our situation is not that bleak or cheerless. Instead we realize we are part of a very long historical process engulfing the entire humanity in waves of migration involving cross-cultural encounters, exchanges and fusion resulting in what we call the modern world. We are indeed an integral part of human evolution in an indifferent universe. We are all aliens. We are all in this together. So cheer up.

    • 8
      0

      “We have to keep abreast with modern developments. If we isolate ourselves and be like the frogs in the well, we have to discard all progressive economic policies and be satisfied with an agrarian economy, and not an industrial economy.”

      Politicians of the ilk of SLFP/Bud/Pseudo-left have to keep the people in the dark ages. Any modernity will deprive them of their captured/entrapped voter-bank. It’s a constant propaganda effort to keep the people backward.

      The world is constantly in flux. The internet made print media redundant. Amazon made many department-stores and shopping-malls redundant; JC Penny, Sears bankrupt.

      if the Lankan “backward population” modernize, the Politicians of the ilk of SLFP/Bud/Pseudo-left will go the way of the Dodo.

      A certain section of the pols, for their own survival have to keep the population backward and their constant efforts are easily visible if one have one’s eyes open.

      If one is willing to do a simple thought-experiment this can be easily grasped. Just imagine when you wake up tomorrow that the whole population of SL have become 21st century modern. To such a populating what does Sirisena, Mahinda, Basil, Gota, Dulles, Gamanpila ……….. have to offer? They would be totally redundant overnight. So, the only option for pols who are incapable of making themselves modern because of their educational-background, is to keep the population backward.

      Ranil is different ………. unlike almost all others, he at least has even a bird, fluttering in his brain about modernity ……. and perhaps that may be his only saving grace ………. and others’ hostility towards him.

      One may be the best “backward politician” going around but they all know which side their bread is buttered; just observe the schools they send their kids to!

      I am encouraged by Mr P. Soma Palan’s piece ……. more writers should bring this out and rub it in their face. So there is no escape from and constant bullshit about the need to modernize.

  • 17
    0

    Uncultured village man does not know how to behave in politics with civic manners..
    Power take people away from good manners

    • 4
      0

      ‘Power does not take people away from good manners’. Power unmasks their real self. It shows to the world what they are in reality; before they got power they were putting on a mask of humility, civility, piety, etc. Once they enjoy power their true qualities come to the fore!

  • 16
    0

    Excellent article.

  • 13
    0

    The defacto culprit is MaRa! Maithri is only dejure!

  • 10
    0

    Living in a fools paradise. Biyas ruining the country.

  • 8
    0

    Good article but many are thinking “What to do with a man like Sirisena” ? Something must be done
    before he really sets the country on fire . Who can bell the cat? This man is sick in mind and he says different things different times and taking the whole country into a bog.

  • 11
    0

    That is an excellent article! Who can dispute even one sentence in it? But many people don’t care for things that make sense because it conflicts with the axes they want to grind.

  • 11
    1

    it is time we reconsidered universal suffrage as it brought about wrong results
    as a beginning , for parliamentary elections only those who passed the o level should have the right to vote

  • 6
    1

    I quit the SLFP to fight against corruption, selling of State assets, waste and collapse of the rule of law”

    Only a reputed psychiatrist should give a verdict on the President’s state of mind. In honest fact he does not care what happens to the country or the people.’This is the rhyme in his head’
    “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
    It makes me laugh at the picture of Sirisena surveying the dam built by the UNP. yes we despair when a usurper think he is King. I despair!

  • 3
    0

    Mr Soma Palan
    Great piece of writing. No doubt you will be labelled as a Ranil supporter by the die hard MR loyalists who are still living in denial, brain washed into thinking the great Sinhala culture & Buddhism is being over thrown by Western/IMF/CIA funded Christian conspiracy, which is sponsoring Ranil to achieve their agenda. As you have highlighted, it is the hypocrisy that amuses me but it’s no laughing matter. As President, the buck stops with Sirisena & he can’t point the finger at Ranil only. Has Sirisena laid out his vision & plans for the country, which, allegedly, Ranil is throwing the spanner at? The British Govt. is currently facing a crisis over ‘Brexit’ but it is dealt with in accordance of the British constitution, not by thuggery & ‘buying’ MPs as Sirisena himself as admitted.
    Ranil is branded as an Anglican sympathiser, despite his Buddhist ancestry by certain ‘Sinhala Buddhist’ fanatics but they fail to comment on the Christian heritage of the Bandaranakes, & if I am not mistaken, MR’s wife’s catholic faith. Buddhism is a tolerant religion & it is my understanding that anyone who abides by the 5 precepts is a Buddhist but at the same time, is free to follow other religions, as faith is a personal matter. The same people blame Ranil for selling the country to foreigners but wasn’t it MR who got SL into a debt trap of the Chinese to fund is ill conceived, white elephants? Wasn’t it the Rajapakse regime which sold prime property to Chinese investors? Is the average voter so stupid to believe all this hype?
    I was disappointed in Ranil when he turned a blind eye to the exploitation of his pals, referred to as the ‘bond scam’ but given a choice between Sirisena, MR or Ranil, Ranil is way ahead as an able statesman.

  • 1
    0

    There is so much talk about RW and his government selling the country’s assets. Those making these statements should pause to consider, among others, a couple of things. 1. What is the REAL value of an asset if there is a huge outstanding loan debt attached to it? Aren’t Mattla and Hambantota port, assets that come into this category. 2. Under the original plan negotiated for the Port City development, wasn’t a certain parcel of the reclaimed land to be given to China for FREE and FOREVER– that is, a piece of SL was to be given to China, with everything that went with it, including, one assumes, to the rights to the air space above it? Mattala and the Hambantota port are two great white elephants. What other choice was left to the RW government than to make the best of a bad deal? Oh, I might also mention that international cricket stadium near Hambantota. That’s as big a white elephant as any. Only, no-one wants to buy it even at a bargain basement price.

  • 2
    0

    Mr Soma Palan
    Well presented analysis of the chaos created by a nihilistic and convoluted personage.
    It is the twisting and turning of material facts that has left the country and the people in a very dire state, to put it mildly. Its an anarchy.
    Who is paying the price; certainly not the creator of the mess but the ordinary citizens of the country. This is not Dharmic by any standard. It is only natural for people to aspire to raise their standards of living. This could only be achieved by progressive and forward thinking development projects encompassing a broad based vision.
    In the globalised market place, it is those countries with vision and the knowhow to harness the ever growing technological developments to their benefits ; will be the winners.
    Unfortunately Sri Lanka has been left in the proverbial lurch by our so called leaders

  • 0
    6

    Ranil Wicks the Wimp is a retarded, ADHD patient, now in senile mental atrophy and disfunction. Anyone who supports his elevation to a position of power and leadership except over a chicken farm, is a moron. Or worse, someone who wants to keep Lanka under a veil of poverty and disfunction, and keep the people down.

    I urge the Lankans to support Gotabya, the only man with the gumption, smarts, brains to guide this country through the challenges ahead. Sure, there will be some collateral damages, some bad people who wish ill on the country and people may not be safe under Gotabya. But he can deliver the country to make it a modern powerhouse.

    I urge the Lankas to forget the differences and support a process that will get Gotabya elected to PM and eventually to President. Mahendra’s time has come and gone. Its sad he is blessed with low IQ, near retard level children such as Namal. Gotabya should put them to do some work with the people, at the village level, and get really smart, intelligent people to gather around him, to drive the country to become a modern powerhouse using the highly intelligent youth of Lanka

  • 1
    0

    Dream on Jay, it’s only wishful thinking.

    Gota had to take an oath to serve the US when he took up citizenship. Will he break that pledge now that he wants to come back to SL?

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