19 September, 2020

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Need Of The Time

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

“… to deal with an impending economic catastrophe like this nation has never seen before calls restructuring of the political apex, unity of diverse cultures to reach a common vision, and breaking free of the dominance of military cabal and narrow interest groups.” One cannot agree more than with what Kumar David has said in these words (Colombo Telegraph, 10 May 2020). This is the need of the time. 

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR) must realise that he cannot win his triple battle: to win over Covid-19, to recover the economy and to protect democracy, through task forces and tri-forces. It is an impossible trinity. He has to get the nation behind him, which at the moment is divided vertically and horizontally as never before. It is true that GR sees in this disarray an opportunity for him, his Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR) and the party MR leads to emerge victorious with a two-third majority were an election be held without delay. The Election Commission is being pressured from every corner to fall in line with GR’s strategy. Professor S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole, a Tamil who dares to speak truth in front of power and refuses to kowtow to pressures, has become the regime’s whipping boy. 

The hastiness shown by GR and his team to hold an early election has made it clear that they want to kill democracy first, even if that meant allowing Covid-19 to score victory on the health front, while economy enters the most dangerous phase of hysteresis. Pride is the worst enemy of a ruler. GR wants to show that he alone, assisted by his task and tri forces, could lead the nation to ‘prosperity and splendour’. “And let it be noted”, said Machiavelli, “that there is no more delicate matter to take in hand, nor more dangerous to conduct, nor more doubtful in its success, than to set up as a leader in the introduction of changes” (Quoted from Ben Hubbard, MBS: The Rise to Power of Mohamed Bin Salman, London, William Collins, 2020). Let the President, who is known for his Machiavellian traits digest the words of that mentor.

On the other hand the country can achieve victory in all three fronts, and fairly quickly, if there is unity. There is no alternative to a collective effort led by the people. It is not the majority Sinhalese or Buddhist masses that are preventing this unity, but the political and religious elements that are poisoning their minds with the idea of creating a nation ruled by Buddhists and for the Buddhists. I call them the supremacists. Unfortunately, GR, his clan and their coterie of advisors have fallen victims to or been ensnared or brainwashed by these elements, whose vicious propaganda has sapped the energy of saner minds and thrown at least 48 percent of eligible voters on the opposite side. 

Let the election come when it comes and let the Commission make a decision independently in the light of all information available to them. Even if the virus disappears tomorrow there will be hundreds of thousand heads of families whose livelihood has been shattered by Corona and would be battling to achieve some level of normalcy in their economic survival before thinking of politics. Voting is not going to put food on their tables and jobs to their grown up. Voting is not even compulsory in Sri Lanka. 

In the meantime, the governments appeal for the employed to forego at least a portion of their monthly earnings, and its shameful willingness to permit money laundering in order to increase the country’s foreign balances show how desperate the nation’s financial situation is. More and costly borrowing from abroad is unavoidable, which will certainly mortgage the lives of coming generations. 

On the other hand, there is substantial amount of hard earned money available abroad in the hands of expatriates, and they would be willing to invest in Sri Lanka, if political and social situations improve and become conducive. With the army controlling the levers of administration, with the task forces not free of corrupt behaviour, and minority communities are deprived of any say in political consultation and decision making that investment is not going to flow in.

GR assumed power with a resolve to end corruption. How corrupt some of his top appointees are is now public knowledge. In this context, it is worth remembering Machiavelli again, who was said to have informed his Medici prince that “one reason that Ottoman empire would be difficult to conquer was the ministers, slaves, and dependents of the sultan could not be corrupted” (Leslie Pierce, Empress Of The East, UK, Icon Books Ltd., 2020, p. 146).    

Mr. President, kindly swallow your pride, reconvene the dissolved parliament and let the nation tackle this emergency as a united body. This is the need of the time.                  

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Latest comments

  • 3
    8

    This is the first time I hear someone say “”lets wait until everyone get food on their tables” to conduct elections.

    • 5
      6

      Need of the time is

      1) Definitely not holding elections

      2) Do the best to containment of COVID-19 – this country would not be able to face it if the numbers of the infected would rapidly increase.
      We should not comapre us with that SOUTH koreans or Germans – us being and anothe begging nation. If western world and america would not offer funds, how can srilanken govt stand by their own ? Are we that rich ? Why cant the leadership become normal and see it in the mirror….. overestimations should stop.
      .
      3) It is reported that over 3-4 billions of US dollars to be paid off by the govt this year in the settlments of the huge loans.

      4) So if MR and his money management would not work well, this country/nation will have to fall from frying pan to the fire. No doubt about that.
      :

      • 1
        3

        Mr. leela ge …….,
        \
        Let’s accept “leelagemalli”s verdict.
        /
        ### NO ELECTIONS ### for next 12 years.
        \
        Let’s empower our President’s hand.
        /
        Thank you for accepting the people’s verdict given on November 2019.

        • 3
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          Pasquali

          Let’s empower our President’s hand.

          *** Wake up. What are you going to do with a strong hand when there is nothing to hold. The Country is in Ruins. Gotha had a stock pile of Body Bags during Eelam War. All used up during COVID 19 and he had to order 1000 more Body Bags. LIAR.

  • 4
    4

    Now that it has been proven beyond any doubt that this war criminal mongrel of a kallathoni was an American citizen at the time of nomination and even at the point of victory on the early hours of the 17th November he should as an armed force trained OFFICER & a GENTLEMAN should honourably resign and live in Lanka on his horu boru MIG and other hora earnings as if by any hook or by crook he sets foot in a foreign land he will be a high candidate to be captured to face the ICC to face trial along with lots of others as war criminals and if found guilty they will be able to live in comfort in European jails.
    He will be able to live in absolute comfort.?
    =
    In my 2 cents worth the daily wage earner along with the other monthly salary earning employees who were at the brunt of being made to purchase their daily requisites at exorbitant prices which are much beyond their capacity to purchase with their meagre earnings in the worthless Lankan rupee.
    =
    By being bitten many a time in absolute pain on their balls, they should awaken with an absolute electric shock and ensure that the UNP lead alliance become the rightful winners.

    • 3
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      Please note I am not being a racist but am only publicising the hard facts of how this once happy the envy of the world rich nation ever since the fateful poll of 1956 when the blue-shirted goonda’s led by S.W.R.D. Banda rolled into power on the Sinhala only agenda and this has been the death knell of this nation where the political doings has made the brainiest of the brainiest migrate abroad and these countries have taken full advantage of their sweepstakes wins
      If anyone can prove me wrong, I will profusely say sorry and change my manner of commenting.
      In anticipation, R. J. the sharpshooter who says it without being afraid as he sees it…

      • 4
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        rj1952,
        There was nothing wrong with ‘Sinhala Only’ policy because Sinhala was the only language in Sinhale before this country was colonized by Europeans and Sinhala is the language of the Native people who comprised 75% of the total population. Demala was the language brought from Hindusthan by slaves imported by colonial parasites.
        Native Sinhalayo were oppressed by colonial rulers and Vella ala Demalu who licked the a** of Brits. So what is the point of gaining independence if Sinhalayo cannot make their language the only official language?
        The problem arose because Vella ala racist Demala politicians told Demala people who worked in the Government Service not to learn Sinhala because their plan was to create a separate State for the descendants of Dravida slaves. If Vella ala Demala politicians gave up their ‘Separatist Agenda’ and allowed Demala people to learn Sinhala, which is the language spoken by 75% of the population, this country would not have experienced a thing called ‘Ethnic Problem’.

        Even now, it is compulsory for Sinhala students to learn Demala but in Yapanaya Vella ala Demala politicians discourage Demala students learning Sinhala by not recruiting teachers to teach Sinhala.

        Vella ala Demala politicians are good in blaming Sinhalayo without admitting their mistakes.

      • 0
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        This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

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  • 1
    1

    Erudite scholar Dr Ameer Ali always write sensibly whenever the country is in crisis. This time it is the deadly COVID19 pandemic that put the entire world in crisis situation. It even reached closer to the Royal families and UK Prime Minster Boris Johnston had a narrow shave and tormenting USA with closer to 80,000 casualties. In Sri Lanka’s perspective COVID19 has inflicted heavy damage on its already ravaged economy. Rebuilding the economy is not going to be a cake walk for us, because of the ever ailing public service sectors marred by huge losses mainly due to heavily infected with trade union mafia. Those trade unions are ever ready to go on work to rule or go on strikes even for petty issues. Therefore balancing annual budget deficit is going to be a daunting task. Another major factor is the foreign debts which is mounting day by day and no sign of improvements to recovery to service the debts. Government is going to face difficult task to manage the situation to put the country in order.

  • 2
    4

    AA and KD,
    • Dr. Bond can contribute by advising how to rob banks and get money without the approval from Parliament, sell vital assets and earn foreign exchange, tell the lessons he learnt by allowing the economic growth to go down from 7% to 2%.
    • Karunkanayakam can advise on money laundering.
    • Harsha can request Volkswagen company to start car manufacturing in Sri Lanka as promised to him. He also can request the foreign investors he said waiting in a queue to invest in Sri lanka to come and invest.
    • Sena Rathnam can advise how to save foreign exchange by importing cheap low quality drugs.
    • Champuka can advise on how to use ‘Buddhist Economics’ to develop the economy.
    • Bigneshwaram can advise on how a Federal System can revive the economy.
    • Bud Uddin can advise on how importing every damn thing can help the economy to recover.
    • Sam Pandan can advise how solving the non-existing ‘Tamil Problem’ can promote economic development.
    • Mus Limbs can advise how ‘Buying and Selling’ using foreign exchange earned by Sinhala women can revive the economy.
    • AKD can contribute by criticizing everything the Government do.

  • 3
    0

    Ameer Ali
    This is the need of the time
    “… to deal with an impending economic catastrophe like this nation has never seen before calls restructuring of the political apex, unity of diverse cultures to reach a common vision, and breaking free of the dominance of military cabal and narrow interest groups.
    *** But none of the above is going to happen under Gotha and if MR is elected at the next election it will be the end of Sri Lanka as we know it. COVID 19 is Gods intervention to punish Sri Lanka and especially the Racist Majority. As far as the minorities are concerned we cant be any worse off than we already are.
    According to CBK Sri Lanka needed $8000 Million immediately a month ago and I am sure that must have doubled by now. Every penny Sri Lanka relied on has dried up.
    1) Apparel industry.
    2) Tourist Industry
    3) Export .
    4) Income from Expatriots
    5) But the good news is or was Gothas name appeared in the Federal List of those Americans who EXPATRIATED. That was quickly changed to those who Renounced.
    If Sri Lanka is to survive COVID she has to rejoin the League of Civilised Nations which is not going to happen Under a CRIMINAL. Gotha and MR are only interested in their empire made up of Gotha MR Basil, Weeratunga , Shavendra and so on.

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