By Sarath de Alwis –
A cattle dealer drove his bulls to the slaughterhouse. With the bulls safely penned in, the Butcher – the “master of science of meat” began to sharpen his knife. (This is an age when candidates demand scientific evidence!)
“Let us close ranks and jack up our executioner on our horns was the initial reaction of most bulls who were wise enough to perceive the peril they were in.
Not quite. There were some bulls who considered themselves as the final arbiters of bovine opinion. They were confident that the Butcher could be gored to death by one great bull they had in their midst. The pedigree of the bull and the persuasive hulk of meat it possessed fortified this belief. This bull was also endowed with a bellow that no other bull could match. This bull who was bullish about his bovine prowess was supremely self-assured of his ability to gore unto death, the fearsome butcher now busy sharpening his blade. But there was a catch. Not all bulls in the slaughterhouse were convinced. Their discomfiture was based on the nature of the bovine doctrine espoused by the self-declared champion.
I have not seen any scientific evidence to suggest that a Butcher can make meat out of us bulls he declared confidently. Now this made perfect common sense. Bull carcasses on meat hooks did not offer scientific evidence on butcher or the butcher’s technique.
There was also a bovine theoretician in their midst. “Now if you please” began the theoretician bull. “In what way is the butcher any worse than the cattle dealer who drove us hither with his cudgel?”
This profound rhetoric failed to impress many who still carried the sickly-sweet smell of death of the slaughterhouse they escaped only four and half years earlier.
“We will deal with the cattle dealer afterwards. First, we will gore the butcher with our horns” was the bull-headed point of view of the majority.
“Nothing doing” said the principled Bulls. “What you attempt is to shield the enemies of democracy, good governance and the rule of law” Although you are Bulls, you act as societal butchers yourselves said one Bull whose name was the Sinhala term for ‘Propitious.”
The bulls failed to close ranks. The Butcher got down to business.
This fable about bovine logic in the hour of peril appears in Leon Trotsky’s 1931 pamphlet “Fascism; What it is and how to fight it.” I have transposed it to fit the current bovine logic in the purported mainstream political grouping embroiled in strife over its presidential nominee.
Ranil Wickremesinghe, the UNP leader was dogged in his determination to culminate his carrier with a final attempt at the presidency. He was never fully behind the idea of abolishing the executive presidency. Within his power, he stealthily paved way for Gotabaya Rajapaksa to emerge as the main opposition candidate for the presidency.
He repeatedly undertook pilgrimages to the abodes of deities in Himalayan foothills to invoke their blessings for his quest. He knew that his base was not secure. He hoped to unite the party behind his nomination purely on the presumed paranoia of a Gotabaya presidency.
Ranil Wickremesinghe misread the events that followed the constitutional travesty of October 2018. He saw the popular loathing of the president’s maniacal maneuverings of constitutional provisions as an endorsement of his own ‘smartass’ politicking. Now he knows better.
Events of the past fortnight holds a lesson. Politics is not about truth or untruth. It is about deception, half-truth, overstatement and misrepresentation.
In ‘What is History’, historian E.H. Carr has told us where to find objective truth.
Objective truth lies somewhere between valueless facts and our own value judgements. The objective facts are there for all to see. Our selection of what facts to use and what should be discarded depends on our own honest or warped interpretation.
Our selection and interpretation of facts are subjective. Mangala Samaraweera believes in a multicultural multiethnic civic nation of Sri Lanka. His presidential nominee who has promised to construct one thousand one hundred stupas spread around the country believes on very scientific evidence that this is a primordial tribal land where modern democratic norms are observed depending on objective facts chosen on subjective grounds.
Mangala Samaraweera thinks that given the possibility of a Gotabaya Rajapaksa presidency, the risk is worth it. May be as a practicing politician he has a superior insight in to the hubris and narcissism of his candidate.
Mangala Samaraweera friend and fellow traveler of Samantha Powers did not deem it prudent to have Sajith Premadasa in the front row when he celebrated his thirty-year journey in politics with a conscience. The possibility of a Gotabaya presidency seems to have altered or changed his views on the social iron cage that we have yet to dismantle, seven decades after independence.
Whether he is right in his assumption that voters will be satisfied with his projection of the candidate remains to be seen.
Confronted with the possibility of a return to the garrison state after the presidential election, we must revise our notions of fascism.
Once we remove the military moustache out of the equation Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Sajith Premadasa stand on equal ground as Tweedledum and Tweedle-dee.
Both have by word and deed practiced systematic exclusivism and macho populism. The only exception is that one has a demonstrated track record of acts that suggest implicit legitimation of violence.
The promise by the other to follow his fathers’ footsteps indicates a clear preference to those same methods.
We can prevent a return to authoritarian fake democracy. To do that we must unite the great mass of ordinary people with a credible alternative.
We must field a candidate whom we can trust to arrest and eliminate the grotesque greed of the ‘super rich rentier class’ who are ready to even switch to ‘native attire’ when attending ‘Viyathmaga’ seminars.
That task can be performed not by the UNP but by a coalition of social movements that can undertake to remodel society based on equality, democracy, peace, and sustainability.
I have a parting message for Mangala Samaraweera. All of king’s horses and all of king’s men will not make me cast my second preference for his candidate.
Lankan / September 25, 2019
I hope it would be 4 way contest.
SLFP and SLPP..
What would be outcome.
SLFP and SLPP will share their traditional vote bank..
It is expected JVP will increase it vote bank too this time at least 15% or more %..
Now that will make UNP king makers
anonymous / September 25, 2019
“I hope it would be 4 way contest.
SLFP and SLPP..”
Quite the opposite I assume. It’ll be all the above four Vs. Naga & the ‘Wikalpa Group’
upali wickramasinghe / September 25, 2019
Justice and Fairplay / September 28, 2019
Sarath de Alwis always offers a non partisan, non-slavish good read, which dares the reader to think. He is easily one of the better writers handling a complicated, often convoluted and exasperating subject.
soma / September 25, 2019
Another pundit says in 2015 JVP vote was in UNP candidate’s (Sirisena) bank which has now been pulled out by AKD leaving the UNP candidate that much less. And the division between SLPP and SLFP is getting narrower by the day fast approaching 98 to 2. What do you think, Lankan?
Good Sense / September 25, 2019
The writer makes it clear that there would be much talking and arguing until the opponents of UNP would crush the party to nothing. Apart from ideology the practical consideration of the so called executive presidency was that past voting patterns reveal that the UNP candidate would always be the President of the country. The swing changed with CBK’s election as President. Now the same formula is acting against the interests of the UNP hence a change. If the UNP fails to select a candidate with a consensus then it is failing the die hard who claim that the color of their blood is green. That is betrayal.
nalmen / September 25, 2019
since so many are contesting no one will get 51%
we may have to have another election
Good Sense / September 27, 2019
What one needs to be President is 50% of the votes casted + 1 and not 51% to be elected in the first round itself. If no one has got the required number of votes then the second preference of the candidates other than the first two is added to the count of the first two and the one who got most after the addition becomes the President.
rfernando / September 25, 2019
Ajith Kolonne. Gamini samarasinghe the former auditor general and the honest and able men who join them might have a good chance.
jehan / September 25, 2019
Gota wins marginally, Karu from UNP second, Sajith SLFP third, Aruna 4th.
2025 Gota gets 99%
Namal died in a plane crash, Yoshita died overboard, Rohita went to Australia.
Sri Lanka is a chineese/American colony, Ruled by a military class. No opposition .
Rebel movements and resistant movements all over started.
Above nightmare is a possibility.
Lester / September 25, 2019
History repeats in cycles. Dutugamunu fought Eelara. Other kings fought off Chola invasions. Mahinda fought Prabhakaran. On a longer time frame, Aryans have been either fighting or subordinating Dravidians for 3000 years. People talk about China as the next superpower, in fact it has always been a superpower with an empire and advanced civilization rivaling that of Ancient Greece. What many people forget is that Sri Lanka, for most of its history, had a monarchy. If people ask for a strongman, they are really asking for a king; this kind of desire is probably genetically programmed into them. If the so-called Westminister System has failed, it may be due to cultural incompatibility. The issue is not that one fellow is corrupt or that another sends his opponents on white van rides. It is that there was no natural development to preclude a Westminister System of government. What we call “democracy” was a 500-year experiment in Western Europe. The colonials thought the natives would adapt their Western values simply by educating the leadership at Oxbridge; clearly that idea has failed. I would also point out, war is a natural occurrence in the development of a civilization. Just because there is a war does not mean the aggressors are fascist.
Pandi Kutti / September 26, 2019
How is London Chingkalla fake Aryan Dravidian nut case , as per DNA Chingkallams have no Aryan DNA. They are 70% Indian Thamizh Dravidian and 25% Bengali Dravidian. SO go and take a hike mad man from London. This is why you have run to the west for a good life and from there post all this rubbish
Lester / September 26, 2019
A low-caste Vellalar slave import from Tamil Nadu, where is Eelam now? Sinhalese are 82% Bengali, the only rubbish is in your head. “Affinity of Sinhalese with the population of north-eastern India was further confirmed by admixture analysis… VNTR data were available on Bengali, Punjabi and Gujurati and when these three populations were considered as parental populations, the VNTR results indicated that 82% of Sinhalese genes originated from Bengali admixture.”
Mallaiyuran / September 27, 2019
“VNTR data were available on Bengali, Punjabi and Gujurati and when these three populations were considered as parental populations, the VNTR results indicated that 82% of Sinhalese genes originated from Bengali admixture.”
I don’t get your biological point here. Are you telling Mahanama had the same gene you had in lying or Bengali sperm works much better on Pandian women than the Lion sperm worked on the Bengali woman. How come all are missing to detect the lion’s mitochondrial? Where do they finding 85% Bengali DNA?
Just don’t fool yourself man. Thanks.
Ravana / September 28, 2019
The lion is an allegorical statement that dumb-witted Tamils don’t understand. The Tamils who came from the Bottom end of Brahma (another allegorical creature who is supposed to thought he created the world while sitting on a rock!) Brahma ended up in Sri Lanka.
Mallaiyuran / September 27, 2019
“Just because there is a war does not mean the aggressors are fascist.
Is that possible then they be terrorist?
nimal fernando / September 25, 2019
“Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Sajith Premadasa stand on equal ground as Tweedledum and Tweedle-dee.”
If Gota wasn’t Mahinda’s brother ………… and Sajith wasn’t Premadasa’s son ……… would they have been deemed suitable for the highest office of the land? …….. Something’s missing in the science of the logic!
At election times, all these characters get a character-makeover ……. and people begin to see them in new-light.
“The only exception is that one has a demonstrated track record of acts that suggest implicit legitimation of violence.”
If Sajith has attended at least a few lectures at U of MD, as he claims ……. he might end up not having as many scalps as Gota ……. perhaps none if some of it had rubbed off ………..
Edward Upali / September 26, 2019
SA seems to think GR is an autocrat, yet does not see any wrong doing by the current PMs 2 bond scams, or the attempt to FRAME political opponents – as revealed by Dilrukshi Wicks, “- reminiscent of Leninist/Stalinist regimes, or the previous indictments of Ranil W for running torture houses at Batalanda. So long as he was not in the torture chamber he is fine with it.
What (SA) does not realize is the limited reach, of his writing -nall this BS every week in English ! The day that people read and thought highly of guys who wrote in English on local matters disappeared years ago.
Who the hell is “Leon Trotsky”anyway -, a mass murderer who did his killing at the beginning of the last century. If you are still reading him then you have arrested development. Even Lenin”s Russia, Mao”s China have evolved. But the fossilized Marxists in Sri Lanka still cling on to their Trotsky or Lenin stories to impress the hoi poloi.. Like the Friday Forum and other self styled civil soc types, no body listens or read them. Soon they will be extinct -GROBR.
Mallaiyuran / September 26, 2019
Jan, 2015 the bulls wanted to bell the incumbent cat. They did something successfully. But by mistake they belled the rat and the cats were safe. Ranil was stopped from becoming EP. They elected New King to save them. Ranil saved his PM position with 19A. Then Ranil blocked the people prosecuting Old Royals. Now they are getting worried by the “Return of the Cat”. The Old Royals are coming back with vengeance after those who tumbled them in last election. Now the people know that Ranil is a rat. But still the rat is the option they have. The basic question of the coming election is “If the people want it by the Thirukkai Vaal or by regular whip for next five years”? So the bulls’ reply is they want it with regular whip, not with Thirukkai Vaal.
Lot of things in Lankawe is very murky and uncertain, but one. Economy, Social development, Education, crime free life,……. none of these questions have any answers, but how would the next government looks like can be answered readily. It will be exactly like the past 70 years.
1). Selecting Tom, dick or Harry will not change the Appe Aanduwa’s track record from 1948.
2). If any disturbances occur in the great history, it will roll back to mountain base as soon on the first occasion.
So nobody need to worry if Lankawe would fly anywhere after the election. We saw these two times when Dudley promised and two times & CBK promised two times to fly away. But without missing in those circumstances, we promptly retuned back to ground zero.
Best Wishes for those three holders of:
1). First Preference
2). Second Preference
3). Third Preference
(Well written essay, but for what?)
GATAM / September 26, 2019
This is a Sinhala Only election. Tamils with dignity should not vote for any of them. Shameless to vote at this Sinhala Only election.
Estate Labourer / September 26, 2019
GATAM: Even in a Sinhala Only election the Tamils (and Muslims) should participate. It is the birthright of the minorities to tilt the balance and decide who will be the president!
P.S. I know why you are saying that. You want to make things easy for your favourite candidate. You think we can’t see through that?
Bodin / September 28, 2019
All elections are Sinhalese elections. Tamils can only have erections. The last one was lead by Pabhakaran. Prabhakaran’s erection lasted 30 years (unlike Gatma’s erection which does not even last a minute). Prabha’s erection lasted so long because he was supplied Viagra by the Tamil diaspora.
But meanwhile the sinhalese held many elections and went on trying many leaders and one of them clicked, and he cut off Prabhakaran’s erection.
Given what the Tamil erection did to the Muslims, a proper government must provide compensation to the Muslims. Also, given the fact that Moors formed the majority of residents of Jaffna Peninsula when the British took over, Jaffna peninsula (See Captain Percival’s account, written in the early 19th century), it should be made the traditional homeland of the Moors. and not of the Tamils.
They only have bogus claims.
Hela / September 26, 2019
What is fake democracy? We lived in it for the past 4+ years. This is a scientific, evidence based conclusion which Sarath and his ilk know in their hearts. He wants to perpetuate it but enlightened sections of the masses are standing between him and his dream. His masters appear to have planned a series of jilmarts between now and the pres. elections (they don’t want a level playing field for all candidates to have a fair go). Let’s see whether people power can overcome it.
Those who screamed about “sil redi” are deafeningly silent about current bribing of masses after the announcement of the election (at least we are happy that the disabled soldiers have got a promise related to their pension. Though they had to resort to protests). May be that is part of Sarath’s definition of democracy.
Spring Koha / September 27, 2019
You have got close to the real point; that Ours is an Ethnic Democracy. As any psephologist will tell you, one way or another it is the Sinhalese voters who will decide the outcome – the winner. The minorities should of course vote, but it will be the Sinhalese voter who will ultimately chose who becomes President.
Douglas / September 26, 2019
Sarath: That “BULLSHIT AND UGLY TRUTH” have already “Invaded” and “Usurped” the “PEOPLES’ FREEDOM” of making a considered and an intelligent decision at the forthcoming Presidential Elections. There is nothing worth talking of the major parties like UNP;SLFP: or SLPP. because the people are already well versed and experienced their “wrath” spelled on them. The people “Wanted” a change and in fact went to the extent of condemning all the 225 in the Parliament. With this “Demand” and the “Cry” there arose a variety of new “Civil Society Outfits” supposed to be spearheaded by “Intellectuals”; “Professionals”; “Tradesmen”; “Artists” who have pledged to work tirelessly towards a “BRAND NEW SYSTEM” of Government. Now towards the closing date for Nominations, what has happened? These “Organizations” have started going in separate ways, with each one nominating candidates against each other. However, all of them speak of a NEW POLICY and an AGENDA on Economy, Politics, Education, Health, Social Welfare and an Efficient Government Machinery. All of those look the same; but the “BULLSHIT” and “UGLY TRUTH” about their campaign is a “INDIVIDUALIZED” (Ego- Centric) and above all the “DOG FIGHT” types that have been unleashed to the public. The result: The PEOPLE who “Demanded” and “Expected” a CHANGE have got “Disillusioned” ; “Hopeless” and “Helpless” by the “Bullshit” and “Ugly Truths” these “Newly Emerged” “Social Groups” have brought into the stage by their own act of “Dog Fight”. If these “Groups” don’t UNITE on a Common Action Plan for the country, NONE will have a chance of “WINNING” anything and everything will be LOST. That is the “UGLY TRUTH” of all this “BULLSHIT” they speak of and promise. In the end, this country and the people will continue with the “OLD BULLSHIT”
chiv / September 26, 2019
Some interesting Bull Shit from Lanka. The UN has kicked Lanka out of lucrative UN peace keeping force because of peace breaking Shavendra. Bottom line thousands of soldiers, loose their livelihood because of one man. Same day, Lanka recruits disgraced soldier and Rajapaksa off spring back into Navy. Welgama wants to stand for election but the fence jumper Dayasiri will not allow him. Sajith brought another fence jumper Tissa back into fold.Last but not the least, Ape Man Ganasara is facing yet another case for breaking the low and odor, for which offence he was just pardoned. The positive side is a Sinhala soldier jumped into a river risking his own life and saved mother and two children in Killinochi. What a world we are living in ??? As I said elsewhere “Lanka is a revolving door to insanity”
Plato. / September 26, 2019
The million dollar question still remains unanswered;
Is Gota eligible to contest an election in this country?
Can he satisfy the election chief that he has RENOUNCED his American citizenship?
Then there is his National Identity card.
Then there is also an issue where he has voted in the 2015 election whilst being an American citizen.
These are technical matters true; But how could someone with so many court cases pending against him contest for the Presidency? This is a moral issue!
Counting agents have told me that they have come across many lewd marks on the ballot paper at practically every election to show their utter contempt for certain candidates.But any marking in a ballot paper against the name of a candidate whether a 4 letter word or any other marks would be construed as a vote for that candidate.So elections in a sense is a slip between the cup and the lip!
Hela / September 26, 2019
How can it be a moral issue when the cases were concocted as attested by Dilrukshi Dias a former executioner of yahapalana gestapo? Apparently they were making and breaking laws as they wished.
chiv / September 26, 2019
Plato , you are absolutely right. Gotha is an immoral person. Only immoral people of his kind will have difficulties in understanding the meaning of morality . Gotha has illegally voted , illegally obtained NIC and passport. This came up in the court appointed investigations. No need of AG department to find out this information. They cross matched his registered name in voter list with NIC and only the old number showed up, not the new one which Gotha claimed to have possess. The new
NIC number has not shown up in any of his voter registration . Voter registration was provided by him, under law and not by AG department.All this infor is out there ,available for layman to read , understand and makeup their mind. Regardless Lankan bull shit will not work in US courts. US judiciary is not as Lankan low and odor. US judges are not as Sarath and Mohan. There is an impeachment hearing filled against Trump him self. Also knowing Lankan BS well, UN kicked out Lanka from peace keeping force.
K.A.Sumanasekera / September 26, 2019
I know Sarath Alwis would have never voted for Keselwatta Kid …I understand.
Now that Dr Ranil himself has proposed Keslwatta Kid as the UNP Candidate , UNP is already minus one vote.
Anyway what I am interested is where do these two fit into among those categories which Sarath Alwis has listed here to educate the punters .
Which one is the Butcher, the Drover , or the Bull. ?….
Arther Koestler / September 28, 2019
Leon Trotsky was a man who advocated violence, and in the end the same violence felled him – he could not even save his own neck, even after running off to Mexico. And we still have men with warped mentalities who go on quoting such failed terrorists. Why not quote from Robespierre and Marat?
Douglas / September 26, 2019
Hela: You know why the case filed by the Bribery Commission was thrown out? The simple reason was that the then Director General Ms. Wickramasinghe did not filed the required “Certification” of the Commission. That was the “Technical Error” for the dismissal. She is a very Senior Legal Luminary in the country. Did she not know that “BASIC” requirement.? She knew it. Then why she did make that “ERROR”. Obvious. Nothing but to provide a “LOOP HOLE” for Gota to ESCAPE. If she did that due to “Pressure”, she must now NAME that person OR if it was her mistake, she must ADMIT it and explain the reasons. Isn’t it that simple to understand?
Hela / September 27, 2019
Technics or techniques of yahapalana law are you trying to teach us?
Hela / September 27, 2019
Aside from the technical matters Dilrukshi more importantly explained the moral basis……….”kaalakanni or karumakkara deshapalanaya”………………
NAK / September 27, 2019
why would Dilrukshi want to provide a “loop hole’ as a hand picked from Ranil.
Couldn’t it be a case that she didn’t go to the commission because commission would not approve the case as there was no real case.
Spring Koha / September 27, 2019
Thank You Mr De Alwis for this interesting cock and bull tale.
No doubt when the President comes to install his new government the speaker will call out “Ordure” Ordure”.
Simhi / September 28, 2019
Sir, your parting message was indeed a parthian shot. Well done.