24 June, 2024

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NPP & Its Critics

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

The increasing popularity of National Peoples Power with an uncompromising stand on system change, a demand originated from the aragalaya youth, seems to have sent jitters within the ruling coalition and their parliamentary opponents who are now united to destroy this colossus. One member from SJB had even called for a merger between his party and UNP-SLPP coalition just to defeat NPP at the polls. It is the threat of NPP sweeping the polls that also made President RW look for excuses to postpone the Local Government Elections (LGEs); and facing defeat, the opposition parties that were initially demanding LGEs have now decided to remain muted.           

On an intellectual level, one or two pundits of political science and a few academists, and members of commentariat, some of whom are supporters or sympathizers of these parties, have engaged in a futile exercise of labelling and debating whether NPP is a typical leftist populist movement or a bunch of Marxist radicals and anarchists, who would, if given the chance to govern, end democracy and establish with violence, if necessary, a form of lumpen dictatorship. Such labelling and debates could go on ad nauseam. But the fact of the matter is, the current economic crisis with its IMF remedial agenda has drawn the line between NPP on one side and almost all other political groups on the other.  

The fundamental issue that divides the two camps is whether the current economic crisis is part of a polycrisis caused by a socio-political system founded on ethnonationalism that set the trajectory of Sri Lanka’s economic mismanagement for decades and therefore calls for system change or, just an aberration caused by the Covid pandemic in combination with the autocratic excesses of former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR). The fact that the same coalition that governed during GR’s presidency is continuing to rule without GR but with his nominee WR is testimony to the current regime’s belief that the economic crisis is an aberration, although of a serious kind, and it could be overcome with yet more borrowed funds and forced sacrifices imposed on the innocent citizenry in the name of patriotism. Whereas NPP alone believes that this approach is only a patchwork exercise without addressing the core issue of getting rid of a derelict socio-political system and the culture it produced.  NPP is therefore viewed as a mortal threat by the guardians of status quo, which explains why they are uniting to confront this new coalition.        

NPP is a coalition of 28 parties and organizations, headed by JVP under Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Unfortunately, the rebellious and violent past of JVP in the 1970s and 1980s, when AKD and his team were children, and the physical losses and mental trauma caused by that violence are still afresh and agonizing the families of the victims, and these are facts that cannot be denied and be recognized.  But what is not being recognized by NPP’s critics is the fact that the new generation of JVP leaders and members of that coalition belong to a vastly different and globally integrated world in which no government or economy could operate in isolation. All radical economic and political models of the pre-1980 era have undergone epochal transformation and their old heroes are all dead and gone.   Today’s JVP is a new avatar and NPP’s political and economic ideologies and operative models haver to incorporate elements of this paradigm shift. The party’s policy makers are intelligent, qualified, and pragmatic enough to understand and work within the new environment. Therefore, to brand NPP-JVP as inherently violent, revolutionary, and totally state-centrist is to display the critics’ own intellectual obscurantism. Yet, there is nothing to lose by NPP leadership to say sorry for past mistakes as the former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd did to the country’s first nation community.  

Be that as it may, there is a sigh of relief if not celebration among the guardians of the system to learn that IMF has released the first tranche of $333 million from the promised $2.9 billion under its Extended Fund Facility.  That release is expected to unlock an expected $7 billion more from other sources such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.  It may also give a sigh of relief to the local moneyed and propertied classes whose fortunes were hit by the economic crisis and may face another hit from the shock waves of recent collapse of two financial megaliths, the Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse. The ripple effects of this collapse are yet to reach the shores of small open economies like Sri Lanka. Once again, no economist or financial wizard predicted this collapse, which goes to show how fragile the world financial system is despite all guarantees of institutional safety and stability. 2023 is going to be yet another year of economic slowdown globally and IMF knows it.  Having contracted by almost 8 percent in 2022, the Sri Lankan economy is facing further contraction in 2023 also.  By how much is anyone’s guess. Growth projections have become a controversial issue in debt restructuring negotiations. 

But as the IMF induced economic pain starts suffocating the masses in months to come a determined president would have no choice but to resort to repressive measures to control public unrest. IMF had never been the friend of the poor and needy. It is an institution that takes care of the rich and powerful.  And the primary intention behind IMF’s help is to protect the interests of Sri Lanka’s creditors and keep the Indian Ocean Island within West’s zone of influence. Its reparative measures, described as “brutal” by one of its spokespersons, without insisting on system change would be a blessing to the rich and powerful but curse to the poor and powerless.  RW’s chimera of a Valhalla in 25 years is certainly not going to satisfy the aragalaya generation. It is that generation’s cry for system change and NPP’s willingness to take up that cause which makes this coalition formidable to be beaten at the ballot box.  How long is RW going to delay an election? Let him watch closely what is happening in neighbouring Pakistan.

In the meantime, it is imperative for NPP leadership to clear the air surrounding its alternative package and development trajectory. The solution to the economic crisis lies in the revival of the real economy which had been neglected by governments in the past and in the interest of building the financial sector.  IMF is now helping to protect and stabilize that sector expecting financial stability to enable the real economy to grow. But the real economy needs direct and positive intervention and assistance. At the same time, the market needs to turn consumer friendly without remaining investor centred. And above all, the collective synergy of all communities needs to be harnessed in the interest of reviving the real economy.  All this demand a change in the system. It is time NPP leadership explains the nature of that change in languages understood by everybody. 

Let the critics shout, caravan must move.           

*Dr. Ameer Ali, Murdoch Business School, Murdoch University, W. Australia

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Latest comments

  • 12
    2

    Whoever comes to power next must be able to put aside their personal interests for the good of the country first. They must start by putting that “Sinhala buddhist” Genie back where it belongs, that’s, in the bottle. Only then we can look at tackling the other issues, like the economy, corruption and mega reform.

    • 10
      6

      If the JVP is so pure and incorruptible, why did its MP’s use their duty free car permits?

      • 5
        1

        OC
        I have asked the same question repeatedly.

        OK, that was in the past but the fact remains that the JVP ‘went with the flow’ & benefitted in the process, instead of standing by their socialist principals. Now its a new era with the same leadership in a new suit as the NPP, & according to their website, will be abolishing all parliamentary perks & will be having a vehicle pool for the use of all Parliamentarians. Would it work? I remain sceptic. Anyway, the website goes on to identify the NPP members as ”a group of volunteers that strive hard to bestow our Sri Lankan citizens a decent life full of comfort, without having an ulterior motive of gaining profits” Commendable indeed.
        In my understanding of a volunteer is someone who is unpaid for doing something to benefit others. Therefore, I assume the NPP candidates elected, as well as, the NPP advisors, will not be taking a salary. Would Dr Ali be able to clarify this statement?

        • 7
          5

          Dear Raj-UK,
          .
          Nobody can live on love and fresh air!
          .
          I don’t want to get bogged down in details here. I understand that the salaries of the MPs of the NPP are credited to a common fund from which they draw allowances. I’m sure that these allowances are more than labourer salaries.
          .
          Many months ago, Vijitha Herath told me that although he represents the Gampaha District, he lives in Kiri Mandala, Nawala. He has one son only, and he was then being schooled in the Junior Section of Vidura College which is within walking distance of the school. Admittedly it is paying education, but not extravagant.
          .
          On Monday, a guy with a great deal of knowing, but not nasty, told me that AKD’s children are being educated abroad. Specifically he has a son being educated at Monash, Melbourne. I checked with the JVP District Office in Maharagama. I was told that he has one child only; he’s not done a University degree and works for Sri Lankan Airlines. I remember seeing photographs of his wedding, and recognised the Church as Holy Emmanuel, Rawatawatta.
          .
          Do you consider that overly pretentious?

          • 7
            0

            Dear Sinhala_Man

            I am merely commenting on a statement on the NPP website, from which, my assumption was that NPP members are implying that they are prepared to work without a salary. If that is not the case, the statement should be removed as it is misleading.
            There are some, after making their fortune, are prepared to provide a service to the country. If I am not mistaken, Karu J. was such a person who did not take a salary as an MP. I am sure there are many professionals, company directors & businessmen who do not need a govt. salary to supplement their income. In UK, only 109 Ministers, including the PM, are paid. Any more are unpaid for their services.
            Cont.

        • 6
          4

          Raj-UK: Once you admitted that you are not that familiar with what is going on the political field in Sri Lanka. Understandable

          For your information at all Seminars (held for small/ Medium entrepreneurs; those in Tourism Industry; Unversity Staff; Legal & Professionals; ) and at public meetings held at “District/Electoral” Divisions, an “ANNOUNCEMENT” and an “UNDERTAKING” have been PLEDGED that NO elected MP would be paid a “SALARY” plus other “PERKS” (allowances for attending Parliamentary sessions; Housing; Electricity/Water/Telephone; Pensions, etc.) No “Car Permits” but a suitable vehicle would be provided and that vehicle has to be returned to the State at the end of being an MP. Further, NO ‘Ex-Presidents and their Spouses would be MAINTAINED and LOOKED AFTER by the State anymore. That means NO Housing, Transport, Security, Staff, and Pensions. All MPs would be paid a “LIVING ALLOWANCE” “ONLY”. Many more “CHANGES” you have not heard of and always you would be “SCEPTICAL” but TRUE to happen if NPP gets into power.

          • 6
            0

            Simon

            As you have kindly acknowledged, my information is from newspaper clippings sent to me by friends &, first hand, from relevant web sites. Therefore, websites should be precise & unambiguous without allowing the reader to make assumptions. I have stated that it is commendable if the NPP will deliver as promised but didn’t GR say the same about eliminating lethargy, corruption & nepotism, yet, what really happened? Therefore, I expect deeds, not words, to convince me.
            AKD is certainly intelligent & stands above the average yob politician but what has been the JVP contribution so far? At least the UNP can say that they initiated the free ambulance service which the GMOA was totally against. Did the JVP support this public service? Maybe JVP politicians travel in pick up trucks & not in SUVs but they also benefitted from the perks which are funded by the average citizen. As a matter of principal, would you except your share knowing it is ill gotten wealth, although you never asked for it?

          • 2
            0

            Dear Simon ,

            Cutting things down to size is good but also worth to look at how
            things got bigger . As for providing Housing for MPs , I thought it
            would be useful to dig a bit into the past . Before Madiwela ,
            Shrawasthi in Colombo was being used as a Hostel by the MPs
            coming to Parliament from distant electorates . Amount of MPs
            got increased , New Parliament building was constructed , new
            economy got introduced . Along the line , Shrawasthi was not
            enough for the increased number of MPs , so the Madiwela
            complex was built . At the time , many MPs coming to Colombo
            also had houses in Colombo . MPs like W Dahanayake travelled by
            train from and to Galle during the Parliament sittings . Only a
            handful used the Hostel for short stay . Abuse had only started
            after about 2000, as more and more Respectable Beggars were
            elected as MPs . And also one should not forget that Shrawasthi
            was a Gift from W A D Silva , Philanthropist and politician . We
            got to be mindful of such great personalities from all Ethnos
            when we talk about 75 years curse ! You may also remember ,
            all Mercs used by ministers went on Lottery in 1965 and all
            ministers returned their cars when the govt went home ! So , it is
            quite worthy to note that the sacrifices announced by the
            JVP/NPP existed long ago under other leaders . Even Dudley
            used and drove his own car after losing the government .

        • 7
          4

          Raj,
          .
          You’re being unfair here; I have little knowledge of perks, but you must be answered. However, please don’t ascribe to me things I don’t state!
          .
          I think that all NPP guys have adopted simple life-styles. I think that they get about in double-cabs. Why not leave it at that? Aren’t we being trivial?

        • 6
          0

          Raj,
          JVP ex-MP Lal Kantha too has been accused of still living in the Parliamentary housing in Madiwela.
          Perhaps even JVP members are human…..

          • 3
            0

            Raj,
            .
            A real good question. I wish one of your commenters could answer this q.

            • 5
              1

              Dear Raj-UK & LM: Did you read my answer on those, “Salaries & “Perks” to MPs and “Maintenance” of “Ex-Presidents and Spuses”?

              What do you say? I know, you will not accept it as “TRUE”.

              That is why I said: It is impossible to awaken a “Fake Sleeper”.

              • 2
                0

                Thank you Simon !
                Without a doubt, I totally agree with NPP on that.

                If I were in Sri Lankan politics or in any authority, I would not allow a single person to waste a penny. I have never acted or been corrupt in my entire life (I have never worked in Sri Lanka). And I will not allow other people’s money to be misused. My mother always told me once that I don’t fit into Sri Lankan society. It continues to resonate with me.

                After watching a YouTube this morning, I thought that not only the politicians but also the professors and doctors in Unis are not clean. To me, doing nothing against the corrupt is also corrupt.

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rzqv-TooJ8&t=988s

                That means corruption is inherent to the Sinhalese nation/Sri Lankan nation.

                • 3
                  0

                  My Dear LM & Raj-UK: Please devote a little of your time to watch:

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uz0alD7ael4

                  Please don’t think it is talking only. It is a matter of VISION and COMMITMENT to DO. This interview is with Duddhi on his youtube channel.

                  Thanks.

              • 6
                0

                Simon, SM, OC, et al

                I think LM & I share similar thoughts & I am sure there are others as well, particularly, those living outside SL who are able to see the bigger picture from outside. Corruption is inevitable in any country but in developed democracies, politicians are held accountable by the public & the media, therefore, a free hand as in SL is not possible. Tough talking Thatcher, smooth talking Blair, opportunistic Theresa May & Boris J, incompetent Liz Truss, all had to go, somewhat, unceremoniously. Cameron stepped down after Brexit because it would be a conflict of interest if he remained. Even after stepping down, Boris J is under investigation for misleading the Parliament over a knees up during lockdown, a relatively insignificant incident, & his political career is now over. On the other hand, a Min. Of Defence translator who came across a secret document collaborating with the CIA on falsifying evidence at the UN in support of going to war in Iraq, blew the whistle & was charged with treason but was supported by a group of human rights lawyers & the govt. dropped all charges against her. My point is, there are people with principles who can challenge the govt. but not so in SL.
                Cont

                • 7
                  0

                  Cont
                  Such standards have deteriorated, particularly, in recent years. Therefore, blatant corruption & mismanagement, is not only unacceptable but outrageous that a few corrupt & self serving politicians can get away with it, therefore, trusting politicians, including those aspiring, need a lot of convincing. The JVP, in my opinion, has so far no convincing track record

                  The NPP is the front runner currently, they have spelled out their strategy while other parties are yet to do so. The objectives are commendable but looking at their coalition, I am not convinced. AKD is the JVP & NPP leader, therefore, it is obvious that the JVP will have an upper hand in the coalition & being a far left movement, along with a redundant Communist Party, I will expect NPP leanings to the far left. Russia & China became more liberal with their communist ideology but it was the cronies who benefitted as oligarchs. The same could happen in SL under such NPP/JVP coalition. As for the Bikku Front, why would a progressive political party let in a bunch of (probably misguided) monks, is it for guiding them to righteousness? (I thought Aragalaya didn’t want monks included in the struggle) Although the NPP seem to be the right choice, I need further convincing.

                  • 2
                    1

                    Raj-UK: Thanks for your input. In summary, you question what has JVP done all this while. In questioning that you either willingly or misconstrue that they never had an opportunity to handle the Governing functions for a full period of the Parliament.

                    One more thing you miss is the “Contribution” of the JVP (not forgetting the Opposition MPs) to the “Constructive” propositions they make in participating in the debates. That is how AKD was named “No.1” in the list of MPs who participated and contributed valuable propositions in the debates. The only unfortunate thing is the Governing party never ever gives a hearing to such valuable propositions. If they do most of these problems could be corrected and avoided. Like most others, including you, the accusation is framed against the “Opposition” is that they are there to “CRITICIZE” only but not to “Propose” solutions.

                    To get a better understanding of the role played by the Opposition speakers and especially the NPP, you MUST read through the Hanzzard. I do it all the time and am able to make an assessment. I know you don’t have that facility and are therefore compelled to rely on “Media” and perhaps “Gossip”. That is how you see “Half” the truth and perhaps “Concocted” versions of the truth. I understand your problem.

                    • 4
                      0

                      Simon
                      I agree that the JVP has been the only voice to expose corruption & mismanagement loudly but the average voter who is in a dilemma, unable to decide who to vote for, will read through the Hansard. Maybe the JVP should have done more to pressure at least an investigation, but apart from that, did they support civic services such as the free ambulance service when even the GMOA was encouraging people to stone the ambulances, or fight injustice, as in the case of Dr Shafi & many others who were stitched up & banged up without charge? AKD & Co. maybe the new JVP but shouldn’t they at least apologise to the nation for their past violent destruction & to the families of all those innocent people murdered for just doing their job? Instead, they still venerate their murderous leader.
                      Sorry Simon, not enough reasons to trust the JVP

                • 1
                  5

                  “My point is, there are people with principles who can challenge the govt. but not so in SL.”
                  Whatever happened to protests by people with principles both in the UK and US about the horrible treatment meted out to Julian Assange? Brutally ignored!
                  Recently it was revealed that the London Metropolitan Police is institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic.
                  (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/mar/21/metropolitan-police-institutionally-racist-misogynistic-homophobic-louise-casey-report)
                  It is all over the papers.
                  Will anything change? Complaints have been there since mod 20th Century.
                  Who cares!
                  But pathetic worshippers of the system keep preaching to the Third World..

                  • 7
                    1

                    SJ
                    As usual, you are making irrelevant comments because of your apparent contempt for SL ex-pats, obviously, due to your own frustrations but as I said before, let the readers make their own mind.
                    I was not preaching but trying to convey the fact that the bigger picture can be seen better from the outside because many in SL have the ‘frog in the well’ syndrome or, for some reason I can’t understand, living in denial, & you have proved the point. SL is in this state because of the inability by the majority to stand up to the state & years of Rajapakse misrule is the evidence.
                    As for your reference to Asange, it was a matter of complying with an extradition order to face trial in another country according to its laws. The comments about the UK police was the conclusion of an independent investigation due to public pressure after several policemen were charged for wrongdoings, including murder. Due to the unacceptable conduct of the police in general, the previous Police commissioner had to step down. Would that happen in SL?
                    Despite the subtle racism, which can be expected as an economic migrant, I am better treated here than in my own country of birth. Says a lot about the injustice & racial abuse the average Tamil or Muslim in SL is facing.

            • 2
              2

              Dear LM,
              .
              I see you here up to your dirty tricks again. If you persist, there will be no forgiveness for you.
              .
              When I hear a guy speaking as eloquently and sensibly as this,
              .
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADSU0C4lGBs
              .
              I tend to overlook the views expressed by my Jaffna friends about him:
              .
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suren_Raghavan
              .
              However, as he himself says, he has to get himself properly elected into the next Parliament. How much more does that apply to your hero, who is a villain to us:
              .
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranil_Wickremesinghe
              .
              There is a strange 3rd Amendment to the Constitution that means that he can’t go for a Presidential Election this year, although Gota could have. Well then, conduct the Local Government Elections ASAP.
              .
              If you can’t understand the logic of that, the results will be tragic for you, but it won’t be our doing!

          • 4
            2

            Dear oc,
            .
            If what you say about Lal Kantha is correct, then it is inexcusable. If you have any b**ls do something about it.
            .
            However, it’s quite possible that what you say is false. A guy told me that AKD’s children (plural!) are being educated abroad. False!
            .
            He has only one child, and he works for Lankan Airlines with no university degree. How do I know? I telephoned the Colombo District Head Quarters of the JVP which is within hailing distance (“hoowak dura”) of my Maharagama house. I’ve struck up a personal acquaintance with some people who are permanently there. What you, and others who don’t even live in our country, assert cannot be checked on. Honest Ramona ought to have nothing to do with you!
            .
            If I assert something that is false, action can be taken against Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V) who is typing this in Bandarawela.

            • 2
              0

              SM,
              “If what you say about Lal Kantha is correct, then it is inexcusable. If you have any b**ls do something about it.”
              It was stated in Parliament by some MP a few days ago. No response from the JVP.
              Unlike you, I don’t think this is “inexcusable “. Politicians do this, and again, unlike you, I don’t worship politicians.

              • 1
                2

                Now is it also possession of b**ls for a comment to be legit?
                Are women prohibited from commenting?

      • 5
        2

        Dear OC,
        .
        If Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna is so clean and invincible why did its MPs use duty free vehicle permits?

        1) Whenever Sri Lankans needed their help, they were reluctant to compromise with any other party except the abusive man of the nation, Mahinda Rajapaksa (the pariah of the nation). They are used to always pointing fingers at others. According to them, they are purer than others.
        How can they be clean if they continue to agree with the middle-class criminals who committed all the great crimes against this nation?

        2) They are experts at accusing others but they repeatedly misused the vehicle license allowance to increase their party’s coffers.

        3) Agriculture experts say that the farming community in Sri Lanka does not have proper knowledge even about the basics of farming. However, the Janata Vimukti Peramuna, though lagging behind in the rural corners of the country, never carried out voluntary programs to educate the people why if they were real in uplifting the livelihood of the poor peasants. why ?

        4) Why did they fail to win over people for 30 years?

        I request JVP promoters to add their comments giving constructive responses to all above 01 to 04.

        • 7
          5

          Dear LM: The simple answer to you is: A fake sleeper cannot be awakened that easily as compared to a genuine sleeper.

          However, as I have told you many times I am not a promotor of JVP.

          Have a nice day!

          • 5
            3

            Simon, if you are not a JVP promoter, why do you feel obligated to comment on the above?

            I roughly remember you have recently raised the question of who will punish the Rajapaksas if not the JVP/NPP. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to get where you responded.

            It seems to me that JVP also has thousands of unanswered questions for the readers. So how are they the only potential force for the future?

            Unfortunately for me my skepticism about NPP/JVP is expanding exponentially. ONLY option would be NPP to join hand with young politicians of various other parties. That will NOT be a reality so long JVP dominates NPP. I do not like SLPP led politics -, I have no hope for the future of our motherland.

            • 4
              1

              Dear LM: Yes. You are correct. I raised that question. I asked you to tell me who out of UNP; SLFP, SLPP, TNA; and JVP/NPP would punish “Rajapakses”.

              Be very straight and name the political outfit named above. Don’t go about circles.

              Thank you.

              • 5
                0

                Thanks Simon Mahaththayo (as you know i always respect you), but I am afraid, I dont trust anyone down there. I am bit pissed off not being able to realize how evern Uni academics could be that corrupted.
                :
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BILxP8rnf1Y

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rzqv-TooJ8&t=988s

                • 3
                  0

                  Dear LM: Thanks. I am sorry, you have not replied to my specific question.

                  Never mind. I know you at least have some reliance on NPP to undertake that mission of punishing “Rajapakses & Co,”.

                  • 2
                    0

                    Simon,
                    I don’t think it will be easy for any force in today’s context to find solutions to those long painful issues.

                    Corruption and dishonesty have crept into university administrations, including elites, like a deadly cancer. When a cancer mutates, a cure is not an easy prospect.

                    The JVP-led NPP will not succeed without significant grassroots support. An alternative would be for a general coalition led by the NPP to do the job. It will be more space. This is my direct answer to your previous question. I hope others will share their thoughts on this particular issue.

              • 4
                7

                Dear Simon,
                .
                [edited out]/b> was my chocolate-gifting friend, but let me tell you that there is no point in your disputing with this fellow who never retails rumours unless they satisfy his desire to avenge himself on JVPers who were active 35 years ago (and mostly now underground in Matale and Batalanda is what I feel, but cannot prove), and on his “Radala” pater.
                .
                Now that his mother is dead, I don’t think that there is a single Lankan whom he really loves. Ignore the fellow. He will always go round in circles.
                .
                Manel Fonseka, who has commented below, (but who has genuine concerns) he possibly admires almost as much as I do. But the problem with her is that, as SJ recently pointed out, she consciously takes the side of the underdog, but stubbornly refuses to acknowledge that Panini Edirisinhe is, in this case, the poverty-stricken guy. who knows and tells the truth.

                • 5
                  0

                  SM,
                  “Dan Silva of Düsseldorf was my chocolate-gifting friend,”
                  Since you seem to take so much interest in exposing other people’s private info, this might interest you:
                  You have publicised all your contact info lavishly. Do you even know that you have unwittingly exposed a lot more than you intended to, some of which you may not want YOUR friends to be aware of?
                  Don’t make a fool of yourself.

                  • 4
                    1

                    Dear OC,
                    Don’t you know that the JVP in the 89-92 era did not think twice to kill my dear friends? Do you think that the former apologists of JVP will think differently? Recently, Lalkantha made it very clear why ID cards were stolen and that these people should be punished arbitrarily.

                    The truth is that most of us at CT are anonymous as commenters.We each have our own reasons. ENtire world knows that srilanka is heaven for criminals. It is the COLOMBIA in south asia. He has violated all moral and ethical rights as a commentator. I dont expect him to behave normal becuase we know that his is pathological.

                  • 3
                    0

                    Dear OC, Raj, HT, NV and all the other sensitive thinkers,

                    (Bandarawela Man would take some more years to realize the facts – even my former barber in SRLANKA would take that long)
                    .
                    My dear Member of Parliament Mr. Eran Wickramaratne clearly states some truths and facts about the background of IMF-BAILOUT in the YT video below.
                    .
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ht7WMP1PfRg
                    Those that are short of time – Please start watching the 26.03 minute (total broadcast time) long video from the 9th minute.

                    Sri Lanka – IMF took 200 days to reach a final decision to approve the application (may JVP cry babies be blessed with some wisdom)

                    Greece – the time taken for them was just 7 days

                    Argentina – IMF approved for them within 40 days.
                    .
                    Almost 200 days have passed for the IMF itself to take a decision about srilanka……WAKE UP FOLKS…..atleast let it be clear to you now, how destructive it was..
                    …doesn’t that reveal the severity and unique levels of our corruption?

                    • 4
                      0

                      leelagemalli

                      “Almost 200 days have passed for the IMF itself to take a decision about srilanka……WAKE UP FOLKS…..atleast let it be clear to you now, how destructive it was..”

                      Did the IMF find the state institutions’ books in good order?
                      Did IMF find two or three different sets of books per each institution?
                      I suppose those state institutional books might have been kept by Basil, Mahinda, Gota, Namal, Cabraal, ….. Weerawansa (Mathematician) , … .

            • 2
              3

              Your comment is a slight improvement on some things that you’ve been saying recently, LM.
              .
              No, there’s no need “to join hands” with corrupt politicians from other Parties to join the NPP. Even my request for membership is pending. All those who desire to support the NPP are free to support; actually, they will be warmly welcomed.
              .
              I sense a change for the better in LM’s last comment; and doesn’t he say, elsewhere, that he would be happy to see AKD as President. I’m too tired to search; it would be so nice if he re-gained rationality. Isn’t all this arguing sickening, and unnecessary?

        • 4
          0

          correction:
          How can they be clean if they continue to agree with the MEDAMULANA criminals who committed all the great crimes against this nation?

      • 5
        0

        OC,
        .
        Until 2015, I hated the display of huge banners in the country. Ironically, today the same crowd is back in the banner culture, displaying Ranil’s photograph – with slogans like “Racism must be fought”. “We need to kick ass”. “Must stand against corruption”. When will our people behave civilized? Gone are the days when we could proudly claim to be from Sri Lanka, but the hoodlums in Beliatte destroyed the hard-earned image of Sri Lanka. May they be cursed forever.

      • 4
        0

        old codger

        “If the JVP is so pure and incorruptible, why did its MP’s use their duty free car permits?”

        If the JVP is so pure and incorruptible, and are straight shooters why did/does it contest provincial council elections which it opposed initially and continues to oppose hypocritically?

        The JVP still remains a participator of competitive RACISM.
        Old guards will never change because they themselves are practicing racists and remain Somawansa loyalists.

      • 2
        0

        OC,
        “Why did its MP’s use their duty free car permits???”
        Whilst I don’t doubt the JVP members are people of high rectitude and not pretentious, I wonder whether, singularly or collectively they could make decisions with Prudence – politically or Commercially Savvy!!????
        If they value what they state and claim to stand for, WHY NOT USE THE CAR PERMITS AND CARS FOR SERVING THE PUBLIC, WHICH NONE WOULD HAVE INCRIMINATINGLY BLAMED, BY PAYING THE DUTY AND EXCISE TAX APPLICABLE TO THAT VEHICLE IMPORTATION TO THE TREASURY!!!
        If they could not amass the total sum at once, by deduction monthly from their income as Parliamentarians in 5 Years!!!
        Even now its not too late, if they did not realise the FOLLY before, to pay the treasury the amount due and claim they stand for rectitude and seek clemency from the people at large!!!
        Its never too late to admit a mistake and correct oneself!! THEN AND ONLY THEN WE BELIVE!!??
        Hopefully, some person with greater intellectual capacity could explain, WHY NOT that isn’t possible, plausible or NECESSARY!!??

      • 3
        0

        OC,
        This makes it hard to believe, that they would endeavour to reclaim MaRa and clan misdeeds!!!
        They should set an example!!!
        If as they claim they are only getting the cars because all MPs enjoy that benefit, that story “RINGS HOLLOW”
        Instead of crediting their (whatever Fund – which is self-serving – though not individually but collectively as organisation), they should have atleast made sure the CUSTOMS DUTY AND EXCISE TAX, BTT (CDETBT Tax) applicable are CREDITED TO THE TREASYURY!!! That’s Patriotism and Nationalistic rectitude!!!
        If it was to adduced as a Mistake or error of judgement, let them display their rectitude, by paying up CDETBT Tax, RIGHT NOW to the Treasury!!! PRONTO!!
        It’s NEVER TOO LATE TO PROVE YOUR SINCERITY OF PURPOSE!!!
        The electorate are then bound to believe them as “Men and Women” beyond REPROACH!!?
        Million Dollar question is, does the JVP has Guts and cohesiveness of purpose and thought to do it and exhibit its stand to the people at large!!??
        If not, they are only equally worth (in other words, fit to be “thrown out of the window” as worthless VERBIAGE = GARBAGE) as pronouncements made IN 2019 by Viyathmaga, The Nurses Union etc.

    • 13
      1

      Dear SJ & Chiv, Please see this:

      This is a response to yr posts re Dr Ameer Ali’s previous article where you disagreed re Badiuddin M’s Galle Face speech. Replies have closed there so I hope you will see this.

      According to Wikipedia:
      ‘ 1938, Badi-ud-din Mahmud gave a speech at the birthday celebrations of Muhammad at Galle Face Green. He urged the Muslims of Sri Lanka to learn the Sinhala language because it would be the only official language after Sri Lanka became independent. His prediction was correct. Mahmud furthered his reasoning:

      ‘”If this is done, all misunderstanding will disappear and there will be perfect harmony between the Sinhalese and the Moors. The adoption of the Tamil language has not benefited the Muslims. On the contrary it has proved a disadvantage to them. Under self-government, which is bound to come sooner or later, the national language of Ceylon should be Sinhalese.”

      ‘The Muslim community received his proposal negatively.[3]’

      • 5
        6

        Manel
        Thanks.
        I had already responded to the man who spoke of BM’s speech at “Galle Face”.
        Sad that Tamil racists hate BM for the wrong reasons.

        • 5
          2

          Yap man, you are right in that. You are in love with Bastard Modaya (Your so-called BM), but Britain refused to recognize your extraordinary- exemplary understanding of why Tamils hate that opportunistic politician, who is of your great caliber. Sad part is neither you nor BM have ever read Martian Niemöller’s poem, if you folks have no capacity to self-realize that age old trick of Sinhala Buddhists. Adamant Britain kicked on your butt so you regretted having wasted your Bathiudeen scholarship in Britain, instead of artistically using it in another country where your Mechanics in Marxism would have made some difference in your citizenship. Keep the top secret of why the Tamils are hating Bathiudeen hidden in the backside cut where the Britain gave kick, to sooth the pain from kick. Instead, if you release that secret, one more time you may end up proofing what an imbecile you are. Anyway, thanks to Bathiudeen for suppressing Tamils and getting recognition from Sinhala Buddhist and having secured a permanent upper hand future for Muslim in Langkang.

          • 6
            1

            Mallai, the mechanical thinking Hypocrite, didn’t respond but tried flip flopping as usual.

        • 3
          5

          Manel
          The man who reported the “speech by Badiuddin at the Galle Face” is embarrassed or the poor sod is having his usual trouble with comprehension.

      • 8
        2

        Manel , thankyou for reproducing the original speech.which exactly I quoted here. This was told to me by a person who attended that meeting. Inference 1) Shows what kind of manipulative politician BM was 2) The fundamental race / religion / language platform on which Muslim as well Lankan politics were built prior to independence 3) BM knew well in advance about post independent Sinhala only agenda 4) The reason for Siri Mao to hire him after years to implement standardization and destroy our Educational system. 5 ) When Muslims perceived negatively, BM exploited Palestinian cause to earn their confidence 6 ) “Exact words of BM, adoption of Tamil is of no benefit and when that happens there will be perfect harmony between Sinhalese and Moors. What about the rest ??? Not exactly what hypocrites like to portray here ” sad that Tamil racists hate BM ” . Victimizing the victims. Hard to believe isn’t it???

        • 6
          0

          Now that the matter is cleared I will stop commenting. Thanks again Manel for reiterating the facts.This is about politicians and parties misleading the country from the very beginning..Nothing to do with community. I have always been critical of post war Rajapaksas sponsored violence and hatred towards Muslims and especially victimizing people like Dr. Shaffi. Unfortunately most Lankans can’t see beyond politics and race. I ‘m sure you would have read the previous response of a politically blind enabler who accuse others of racisn.

          • 3
            5

            “Now that the matter is cleared I will stop commenting.”
            Very wise.
            At least we can hope not hear any more about Badiuddin at Galle Face and his anti Tamil language utterances.
            What an escape artiste!

      • 4
        0

        Manel

        “The Muslim community received his proposal negatively”

        Rightly so.
        Once you let the petty nationalism to occupy a small gap it wants more, its like Camel inside the tent.

        Religious fanaticism, racial politics, fascism …. should have no place in democratic countries or in democratic political system.

        Badi-ud-din Mahmud was wrong.
        Man did not understand “Unity in Diversity”.
        Further you see how these parochial politics have ruined the island.

  • 11
    2

    Today’s JVP is not the JVP of the 1970s and 1980s.
    And the majority of today’s voters are not those of the 1970s and 1980s.

    • 7
      8

      “Today’s JVP is not the JVP of the 1970s and 1980s.”
      True, but has it shed its narrow nationalist attitude?

      • 6
        4

        Dear LM: The simple answer to you is: A fake sleeper cannot be awakened that easily as compared to a genuine sleeper.

        However, as I have told you many times I am not a promotor of JVP.

        Have a nice day!

      • 6
        2

        SJ: “True……..narrow nationalist attitude?

        What do you mean? A “Narrow Nationalist” OR Narrow Racist attitude?

        • 2
          0

          S
          I prefer the term nationality (not nation) to refer to the ethnic groups. Race is something that is different from nationality.
          But it is the parochial attitude that I criticize.

  • 5
    4

    At this moment I’m raising Cain over the NPP,s nomination list that I came across almost by accident on the Internet:
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYUllV6XgJQ
    ,
    I have made the sole comment on it, to date. I’m sure that AKD is unaware of the implications of this list. At this moment I’m raising Cain over this. I hope I will be able to complete my account of what I saw on 21/02/2013. It’s here:.
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/waiting-for-godot-can-some-developing-nations-unite-transform-the-planet/
    .
    Panini Edirisinhe

    • 4
      5

      This is the problem here:
      .
      I’ve been the first to see it, although it’s been there for a month. Mine is currently the only YouTube comment there. Eighteen Sinhalese candidates, and one Muslim, going on names. Little wonder that even the NPP concede that the group led by Naushad will get all the Muslim (and Tamil) votes.

      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/uva-chiefs-bail-out-ceremony-monks-of-the-lumpenproletariat/
      .
      Let me give you a few other links that I’ve come across when the updates on CT

      • 4
        4

        That got cut off in mid-sentence by a power failure.
        .For about a month power supply had been near perfect. For the past four days or so there have been short power failures, but it’s not been too bad..
        .
        Incidentally, for some months, I’d been heroically proclaiming that I’d refuse to pay for electricity and water until elections are held. Red notice for electricity a week ago. I visited the offices on Wednesday, the 21st. They are cutting off. Yesterday, (Thursday) I plumped for discretion, and paid up for both.

    • 2
      4

      C-O-R-R-R-E-C-T-I-ON
      .
      Please see the third name here:
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYUllV6XgJQ&lc=UgzW3q79rkdn33c_6Et4AaABAg
      .
      “Veeraiya Ravi Kumar is a Tamil”, was the gentle observation passed on to me by Mayoral Candidate, Attorney-at-Law, Mr Sajith Bandara.
      .
      So, I’ve made a mistake. I aplogise to Mr Ravi Kumar, and to the NPP.
      .
      I think that we should discuss this a little later.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V) Voter registered in the Diyabibla area of the Bandarawela Municipal Municipal Council.

  • 10
    3

    JVP’s policy makers are not yet willing to state that the party’s past. Neither would they state unequivocally, where they stand on the national question.

    • 2
      1

      ‘they regret’, got left out. Sorry.

    • 5
      2

      We have to move on rather than nitpicking!,
      NPP is not a homogeneous political entity, but a coalition of different interest groups who find JVP to be an honest, corruption free, sincere party unlike other political parties that had ruined the country since independence and therefore had wanted to work with them but they were not at all ideologically of similar views but united in having systemic changes made effective for recovery from all ills facing the country.
      NPP had also accommodated some ex fringe leftist groups who had nowhere else to go..
      If Ranil Wicramasinghe fails in his current attempt of rescuing the country, NPP will have a golden opportunity in the forthcoming General election provided they could present an alternate, clear viable road map with systemic changes as the core philosophy, otherwise it will splinter and face annihilation.
      It is the fervent hope of all that NPP will face up to this challenge and succeed.

      • 6
        1

        srikrish,
        Your seemingly likely argument is not logical.
        If, as you say, ‘NPP is a coalition of different interest groups’, should it not expect ‘others’ (including JVP) to join them rather than joining JVP themselves?

        • 4
          3

          I had only stated the facts and not made any comments in support or opposed.

          • 3
            2

            It is the fervent hope of all that NPP will face up to this challenge and succeed…. ?

          • 6
            5

            “NPP is … a coalition of different interest groups who find JVP to be an honest, corruption free, sincere party unlike other political parties”
            “It is the fervent hope of all that NPP will face up to this challenge and succeed.”
            *
            “I had only stated the facts”. Are the above facts, really? Found by a full opinion survey, I suppose!

            • 6
              4

              “NPP had also accommodated some ex fringe leftist groups who had nowhere else to go.”
              That is not very complimentary.
              Can you kindly name these desperate ‘ex fringe leftist groups’ who joined the NPP’s political orphanage?

          • 6
            3

            Your very first sentence is an opinion!

            • 5
              3

              N
              This evening I spent some time with an important partner in the NPP. Even before I suggested anything, he said that the JVP is unable to be free of its parochial stand because it fears losing some old loyalists.
              He also referred me to an article in last weekend’s Ceylon Today titled “Austerity without opposition” by Pasan Jayasinghe.
              (the link is https://ceylontoday.lk/2023/03/17/austerity-without-opposition/)
              A long but very sensible comment.

              • 2
                1

                SJ,
                “the JVP is unable to be free of its parochial stand because it fears losing some old loyalists.”
                The JVP is distinct from other parties in that it has some permanent principles, though their correctness is debatable.
                Some principles have been ditched or bent over the years. If it ditched everything, it would be indistinguishable from the SJB, or Pohottuwa , except for the red shirts.

                • 1
                  0

                  old codger

                  “The JVP is distinct from other parties in that it has some permanent principles, though their correctness is debatable.”

                  Has JVP apologised for its many mistakes mostly intentional?
                  1…..
                  2….
                  3….


                  Tens of thousands if not infinity.
                  Old guards still think as long as they keep mum on Ethnic issues, land grab, Sinhala/Buddhisisation, Saffron brigade, war crimes,…. and scream loud on socialism they could win elections, then oppress the voters.

    • 3
      2

      N
      “JVP’s policy makers are not yet willing to state that the party’s past.”
      The JVP is not unique in that respect. Every other party is in the same boat.
      Ask the UNP about its 17-year misrule. Ask Sajith about the killing of Richard de Soysa.
      They fear that they lose public trust when they admit a mistake.

  • 4
    6

    I have the highest respect for true academics & I am somewhat surprised at Dr Ali’s haste in promoting & defending the NPP.

    All the current mainstream parties have a ‘Jana’ tag in the party name, indicating some form of ”peoples’power” & I find it hard to differentiate their policies. Seems it boils down to personality of party members when it come to voting. Apart from the NPP, the SJB & UNP (I have not bothered with SLFP & PPP) have not presented their political manifesto as yet. Their respective websites have only photos of the leadership but nothing to confirm their policies & objectives & how they expect to achieve them. I expected more from much hyped Premadasa jnr. with his academic achievements & international exposure, & that goes for UNP’s Harsha too. In this context, the NPP has proved to be more capable with a strategy already in place. Although most of their objectives remain vague, at least, they have committed to spending 5% of GDP on health & 6% on education but I would also like to see numbers when it comes to reduction of waste, cost cutting, taxation & sources of revenue to fund all their objectives. There is no point stating what they intend to do if funding is not available. I am sure the academics appointed to various committees would be able to provide the costing.
    Cont.

    • 3
      0

      Taj-UK,
      “All the current mainstream parties have a ‘Jana’ tag in the party name, indicating some form of ”peoples’ power” & I find it hard to differentiate their policies. Seems it boils down to personality of party members when it comes to voting.”
      YES.
      That is the start of the deception and commencement of the process of ‘DECIEVING’, THE ELECTORRATE!!!???
      Political parties, exist on the ‘goodwill of the electorate’ for sustenance and continued existence, if not for being elected to POWER!!??
      They are first process to make the electorate believe that they are GOD SENT SAVIOURS AND MESSIAH’S!!??
      Some alternatively, promise, “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour”, which is and has been a MIRAGE for one and all of the RURAL electorate, which has not been realised by them, though promised by many ‘JANA’ and ‘JATHIKA’, Pakshaya over many years!!!!??
      Innocent, ignorant and illiterate (comparatively!) continued to be fooled!!?? Succumb to the DAYS’ BENEFITS, elect these SCOUNDRELS of False Promises!!?? Once elected, these “UNWORTHY ELEMENTS” transform and become Sovereign and the “Untouchable” category becoming the ‘SUPREME’!!!??
      What a Parody!!!??
      HARD TO NELIEVE ITS EXISTENCE AND SUSTENANCE CONTINUED FOR 72+ YEARS!!??

    • 3
      2

      An academic shall climb a few rings in one’s “respect ladder” if he fails to pander to one’s prejudiced views.

      • 0
        3

        Ooops
        “a few rungs”

        • 1
          2

          Ooops again
          “a few rungs down”

      • 2
        1

        So, you learned the lesson that even an old dog who lacks cognizant but convulsing to clear CT, can be taught a few new tricks if sets down in CT claiming all the criticism against it as entertainment for it, and declaring it enjoys those.

        Keep it up; the hope is, at least at dusk, the Sun may appear on the horizon for some self-proclaimed wise old owls?

        • 0
          2

          So did you learn any new tricks?
          As the proverb goes, none I guess!

  • 4
    0

    Cont.
    A named ‘shadow’ cabinet would also prove seriousness in reducing the current bloated cabinet or would it be musical chairs to appoint Ministers as before?

    Looking at the NPP’s 28 coalition membership, apart from the doctors & University lecturers ‘for social justice’, the JVP & Communist Party, the others don’t say much about them, except, perhaps, their socialist leanings, & I suppose the ‘Bikkhu front’ is there for spiritual guidance (If any monks want to dabble in politics, they should do their patriotic duty after leaving robes). Therefore, my conclusion is that the NPP is center left at best & far left at worst. So is this the system change we are hoping for? Dr Ali has concluded that ”It is time NPP leadership explains the nature of that change in languages understood by everybody”. Lets hear it from the horses’s mouth.

    • 2
      2

      This is the appropriate time for the NPP policy makers to realize that the systemic change is not merely an election slogan to be used and discarded once the elections are over, but a genuine platform and NPP is serious about it and be ready with an implementation strategy. A key element of systemic change is governance with power sharing down to grass root level with all good governance elements effectively in place.

      It should be built up from the village level upwards using subsidiarity principle. Subsidiarity principle states in a summarized form that all power and authority lies at the lowest level and only those powers that could not be exercised at the lowest level should be assigned to the next level and so on. Thus the power moves upwards from grassroots to the top not top down approach.

      This arrangement could accommodate racial and other communities to have effective remedy to address the grievances and aspirations of racial and different communities to share power and empower them to realize their aspirations fulfilled.
      Even gender issues could be satisfactorily addressed.

      I hope that NPP will consider these suggestions in a positive manner to have self-governance as a permanent feature of governance in the near future.

  • 7
    2

    Well written Dr. Ali!

    We can only hope that Ranil tries to recover the economy from the local level, from ground up. That will be his redemption in the eyes of the suffering masses.

    But knowing he handled his PM status from 2915-19, shows quite a different scenario. His first act of PM-ship was to gift the political class with their Mercedes Benzes. Then was the beautifying of Colombo for the Christmas season, replete with a gigantic Christmas in Galle Face. The obvious is, that even at that time, the financial sector of the country had plenty of stashed wealth – yes, local moneyed and propertied classes were doing well as always.

    Yes, the IMF loan is there to retain that financial sector so as to balance the Western globalized banking system. The Real Economy of the longsuffering Masses will be taxed till it is in its death throes so the balance can be maintained.

  • 6
    1

    Bandula Gunawardana has said , it was reported that the I M F was deceived by
    our governments 16 times ! That means , every time they borrowed , the agency
    was misled . Is it different this time ? How and Why ?

    • 6
      0

      He admitted that the politicians, especially the last set, stole the money for their ambitious purposes. Now they hope to be better. The people know however, that they will be unbearably taxed till they drop dead, to pay off those loans, and especially the loans of the last governmental set (who are still running parliament)

    • 4
      3

      ww
      Be reasonable.
      With the IMF, deception is at worst mutual. Generally the IMF wins the game of deception.

      • 1
        0

        S J ,

        Oh , come on SJ , didn’t Jesus die for the sins of his followers ? IMF
        is in perfect knowledge of Well Behaved Mischiefs of its Customers !
        IMF is more than our Father Figure ! New Buddha With a Stick in
        one Hand and the Lotus in the other ! No Worries Buddy , Keep
        Emptying the coffer !

        • 0
          3

          JC died for everybody’s sins I would have thought.
          He died because one of his followers fetched a few coins I was told..
          Being in perfect knowledge is an advantage for a deceiver.
          IMF is just the same as it was decades ago. It just screws up the poor.

  • 3
    2

    The author says:
    “Let the critics shout, caravan must move.”
    Is that not exactly what RW is doing, while the author and other critics keep yelling?
    What matter are what the cargo is and what the destination is.
    Does the author really have clue?

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