22 October, 2020

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Otherness Or Togetherness: Decision Time For Ravana

By Sarath De Alwis

Sarath de Alwis

Sarath de Alwis

The four southern states of India are located closer to Colombo than to Delhi. Colombo can therefore be used as an efficient gateway to the South Indian market, giving it access to 250 million people.

The National Savings Bank affiliate NSBFMC makes this defiant and revealing statement in the background brief of the document that seeks investors for the National Airline. It is a positively promising discovery by a state owned bank. It has daringly suggested that Colombo can be the portal to that part of the planet that makes up the territory south of the Vindhya mountain range of the Indian subcontinent. In this technetronic age Air ports are ‘portals to the planet and airplanes the closest thing to time machines.’

That our nation has waited until the national carrier and its appendage Mihin Lanka nosedived in to the ground to discover aviation geography is reflective of our past folly. The belated discovery of the subcontinent as the hinterland of the national carrier of Sri Lanka rests in that bewildering space between humour and hurt. Hurt because of lost opportunity. Humour because Mihin rings a bell. The common understanding is that Arahant Mahinda came by air to Mihintale and that President Mahinda built an Airport presently used by two Air Lines, plenty of Peacocks and a few elephants.

Aviation is a subject of which I have some peripheral knowledge. By a combination of circumstance fortuitous I thought then, and with retrospective wisdom I regret now, I joined Air Lanka eight months after the 1983 pogrom and served it for fourteen years. My assignment was that I persuade the pacifist Japanese that coming to Sri Lanka in those turbulent years was a worthwhile proposition. A person who considered himself a veteran in aviation who perhaps rightly considered me to be an interloper, said that I wasn’t capable of knowing the difference between a cock pit and a shit pit. Prophetic words. Under the Premadasa regime I was in the shit pit. Pasky is my witness.

The knowledge I gathered in that exercise, though limited is deep and passionate. It has formed a kind of link one develops in a reluctant liaison which is both painful and rewarding.

On reading the twenty page document prepared by the NSBFMC, I was exceptionally induced to comment on some of its contents. Yet, out of difference to its notation of confidentiality, I concluded that it was best to avoid a public conversation on the subject till its dead line passed.

When I started on this missive, my intention was to write on the Subject of SriLankan Airlines and our willful neglect of economic opportunities offered by geography. Half way through I had to alter course. Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka published his latest tract ‘Reading though Sampathan’s spin.’ The learned lunacy contained in it explained many things. So, this missive is not about aviation. It is about how the Sinhalese of Sri Lanka define themselves in the technetronic and global age.

But we need to deal with aviation somewhat peripherally. The average flying time from Trivandrum to Delhi is 4 hours 30 Minutes, to Mumbai it is 2 hours and five minutes, to Colombo it is only 1 hour.

Flying time from Bangalore to Delhi is 2 hours 25 minutes. Curiously from Bangalore to both Mumbai and Colombo the flying time is 1 hour 25 Minutes.

Although we dismiss myths and legends, as fiction and fantasy, we discover that they are in fact perplexing realities explained by limited knowledge and beliefs of those ancient times. The Hanuman Bridge may contain some truth after all.

When we frame this Geographic destiny in the context of global and regional commerce, the Silicon capital of India is equidistant from Gota’s Garden city Arcade where Jaqueline Fernandez has her fine dining restaurant ‘Kaema Sutra’ and Bollywood where she lives and works and may or may not be reading the ‘Kama Sutra.’

Just as individuals, countries can get lost. In the past decade under Rajapakse rule, Sri Lanka lost the map of morality, the map of civil behavior. In the case of the national airline and the nation’s global connectivity, we lost the simple map of geography. It became fashionable to histrionically preach and practice a developmental apartheid between the south and the north of the island and between the island and the southern part of the Indian sub-continent.

Delhi is reasonable. Chennai is incorrigible. The ‘Sakya clan of Magadha desha are historical friends. The Dravidian tribes are ancient adversaries.

Market accessibility, natural with geographic proximity was stymied by an officially sanctioned cultural apartheid, preached, practiced and propagated by movements of the type of the Ravana Balaya, Bodu Bala Sena and influential opinion peddlers such as Parliamentarian Udaya Gammanpila, Poet and pundit Gunadasa Amerasekra and neurologist Dr. Anurudha Padeniya and his coterie of neurosis patients. According to Dr. Padeniya, India does not have doctors as good as our own.

To some of us, country and nation is the same thing. To Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka and many others – probably a majority of Sinhala people, the two words – country and nation mean two different things. The country is a physically demarcated territory. Nation is a shared state of mind. The nation clings to language, religion, customs and traditions. It is a cultural composite.

The Sinhala ‘Jathiya’ ipso facto, the Sinhala Nation is a politico-cultural entity. The Sinhalese have a unique character and therefore unique collective rights different from other citizens. The state is a politico-judicial entity that exercises its sovereign rights on behalf of the Sinhala nation.

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka deserves to be congratulated for his forthright views which leaves no one in doubt. He insists that Tamils in Tamil Nadu and Tamils in the North of Sri Lanka constitute an existential threat to the Sinhala nation. It is best to quote him in his own carefully composed, eloquently argued, bountiful bigotry.

“There is no logic by which an ethnic community should enjoy the same degree of autonomy on a small island that it does on a vast subcontinent. There is also no logic by which an ethnic community which is one and half million strong in two border regions of a small island should enjoy the same quasi-federal powers that eighty million Tamils enjoy in Tamil Nadu.

Secondly, the island of Sri Lanka has only one neighbor and that’s to its north. The North of Sri Lanka with a million Tamils is only 18 miles away from Tamil Nadu which has 80 million ethnic Tamils. The Southern two thirds of Sri Lanka has no neighbors, no co-ethnics, no adjacent co-religionists, and no speakers of the same language.

Thus it is geopolitically unaffordable, and actually dangerous for the Tamils of Sri Lanka to have the same political power as the Tamils of India. What Mr. Sampanthan proposes is a second Tamil nadu on the soil of the small island of Sri Lanka. This is not merely unacceptable, it poses a deadly existential danger.”

For all he cares, Dr. Jayatilleka would not mind Sri Lankan Airlines flying empty to the South Pole. In fact the brother in law of his current political idol was doing something similar with the National Air Line until 8th January 2015. {Not that things have changed all together. }

What Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka suggests and affirms is that Federalism per se is not a bad form of government. But it is bad for Sri Lanka. The Tamils of Sri Lanka need to be under constitutional surveillance. They should be denied the right of administering their affairs in the Tamil majority province because Tamil Nadu is suspect.

The National Airline of Sri Lanka wants to make Colombo a regional aviation hub. It wishes to make South India its catchment area to feed a funnel in Colombo. Perfect sense in the global age. But not to Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka. He is comfortable in the age of Henry the navigator. He should seriously consider offering his services as ideologue to the neo Ottoman tyrant Erdogan.

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Latest comments

  • 9
    1

    “But not to Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka. He is comfortable in the age of Henry the navigator. He should seriously consider offering his services as ideologue to the neo Ottoman tyrant Erdogan.”

    Erdogan would be a perfect replacement for Dayan J’s ousted hero. And while he’s at it, he should also consider Philippines’ Duterte, who appears to be in the same mold as our Gota, except that he is far more ‘in your face’ than the latter.

  • 10
    1

    Yes I agree with you Sarath.
    As for Dr “DJ” , as far as I am concerned he go the north pole and await the appearance of penguins and await his creator in the coolness of the Artic. I wonder what kind of person is this man with a Phd to add arrogance to his ignorance. Let us not waste time on this man. idle mind, they say is the workshop of a devil

    I too have an Aviation background working for the British Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Albeit in technical and managerial roles.
    Yes a well managed airline could be profitable as well a promoter of sorts for the country ; as is the case with Singapore Airlines. I believe in the distant past we had an association with SA.
    It is not to too late. No point in trying resurrect a dying airline with tinkering on the fringes. Infested with ineffective and ill matched personals at the top. What it needs is a complete divorce a complete lance from the state apparatus and most importantly from political interference.
    Partner with an able partner(there are few in the frame ) and give it a go is my proposition. Capture the lost ground and provide competitive and value for money services. Get the “coal face” staff trained and motivated. This shouldn’t and wouldn’t cost the earth, if properly engineered and well managed. In few years you will see the results
    Dr.DJ, save his soul, may give advise to the board when he is fit and well!

    • 7
      1

      It’s the pride of higganno nations politicians, civil servants, forces, cricket team.
      So it has to be kept in constant deficit for unity/communism.

      The President called the Germans and Japanese when there was a fire at CEB but never for constant failing airline or constitution. Horunge Horu.

      The Obama adm. IC loves the chaos but for how long??

  • 11
    2

    Sarath De Alwis

    “For all he cares, Dr. Jayatilleka would not mind Sri Lankan Airlines flying empty to the South Pole.”

    In a way he is right. He once suggested or agreed with me that the only option available for Hindia is to relocate Tamil Nadu to the South Pole in order to guard this island from existential threat.

    He is thinking and planning ahead, a brilliant idea whose time has come, hitting two mangoes with one stone.

    Thanks for your article, I agree entirely with you and appreciate your effort to educate the supposed elites of this island.

  • 16
    2

    The true enemies of Sinhalese and Sri Lanka are Buudhist Sinhala Fundamentalism.

    • 3
      7

      The true enemies of Sinhalese and Sri Lanka are Buudhist Sinhala Fundamentalism.

      Ha…ha..ha..

      Tamils fighting for a homeland in Sri lanka are the true friends of Sinhala people.

      What gospel truth.

    • 1
      14

      The true enemies of Sinhalese and Sri Lanka are the Tamil diaspora and their local mouthpieces.

      • 8
        1

        the sinhala buddhist donkey settlers spawned its enemy by howling at the moon.
        Now the sun is going down sinhala buddhist donkey settlers.

        Enjoy the dry fish Phew!

      • 6
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        Taraki or Tarakai is a pure Tamil word meaning Star. Even the ancient Veda dialect and the native semi Tamil Elu dialect used this work.

        I am very amused that you are using a pure Tamil word and identity to post your anti Tamil venom.

      • 0
        0

        Taraki

        “The true enemies of Sinhalese and Sri Lanka are the Tamil diaspora and their local mouthpieces.”

        It used to be the Mohammedan, Malayalis, then GG Ponna, Up Country Hard working Tamils, Chelvanayagam, Amirthalingam, NGOs, USA, UK, India, VP, …. Diaspora, …. before all these enemies, there were Pandyas, Cholas, Mahas, ….. Elara, …..

        It’s too bad you have too many enemies.

        My friend tells me ” Oh God please save me from myself, I can take care of my enemies”

        Think about it.

  • 11
    2

    Dear Sinhala friends,
    Be aware of Dayan Jeyatilake. He is a very cunny, educated Christian follower. Though he appears to write in favour of Buddhists his intention is to create permanent division between Buddhists and Hindus.

    • 0
      2

      [Edited out]

  • 10
    2

    Ajith,
    I know Dayan from his adolescent days. Cunning he is not. He has at this point in time taken a stand and is structuring a theoretical construct. I described him once as an expedient dialectical engineer, He did not quibble. We must debate sans vituperate hysterics. We should be grateful to Dayan for cohesively, lucidly framing the prejudices of the Lion race.

    • 1
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      We should be grateful for cohesively, lucidly framing the prejudices of the Lion race.

      Failed Post c-colonial education, Influence of colonial masters. not belonging to any culture except the middle eastern religious fervor or bigotry.

    • 11
      1

      “”lucidly framing the prejudices of the Lion race. “”

      I have never seen the lion in sinhalese all my life.
      But I have seen the hyena in them work in packs and go after the prey.

      Diamat has not worked and will not work with the global village taking shape in ways that we never envisaged.- Brexit.

      Like most countries Lanka too is governed by a set of con-men/women families a minority of sinhala buddhist and muslims. Why aren’t the voters disenfranchised with the same bath parcel?

  • 6
    13

    Sarath De Silva smoking his pipe in retirement thinks Sri Lanka can be a hub for 250m Hindians. What he has not realized is the Indians will not see it that way. They will relocate lock, stock and barrel the entire human supply chain to Colombo and whilst living the clean life will fill the coffers in Delhi. To understand Indian red tape talk to the Sri Lankan exporters. We can forgive Ranil and Sarath for being both foolish and Naive.

    • 4
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      Wheres the evidence of that? And if so, why haven’t they done that already?

      Compared to, say, the number of Chinese in town?

    • 8
      2

      Patriot,
      ” To understand Indian red tape talk to the Sri Lankan exporters. “
      Yes, do go ahead and talk to Damro ( 60 outlets in India), Amante (factories in India), and Spa Ceylon (4 outlets in India).
      Some so-called exporters don’t know how to export to India, and make a lot more noise than the ones who are doing it successfully. Samantha Kumarasingha is one of these.
      Do you know that Happy Cow cheese (an Austrian product) is cheaper in Chennai than Colombo?. So where is the red tape?

    • 2
      0

      Patriot I regularly purchase large quantities of Artworks from New Delhi on the web – DHL delivery 3 days and all EU duty paid by supplier.

      your problem is you have a puddhu chip on your shoulder. Talking to some of our Indian suppliers.They are moving away from using colombo (sinhala buddhist mafia at harbour) for transhipment and prefer hong kong. Very soon either Andaman or an island port would be created bordering Tamil Nadu. Most of them speak fluent mandarin like the Brahmin jayashankar the foreign secretary.
      You don’t speak hindi either because you are the southern buruva come to colombo city.

      Ask any chinese businessman and they love dealing with indian businessmen because they are good negotiators and do not have any hangups about logic.
      India at a glance for export;
      Exports:
      $287.6 billion (2015 est.)
      $329.6 billion (2014 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 17
      Exports – commodities:
      petroleum products, precious stones, vehicles, machinery, iron and steel, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, cereals, apparel
      Exports – partners:
      US 15.2%, UAE 11.4%, Hong Kong 4.6% (2015)
      Imports:
      $432.3 billion (2015 est.)
      $472.8 billion (2014 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 11
      Imports – commodities:
      crude oil, precious stones, machinery, chemicals, fertilizer, plastics, iron and steel
      Imports – partners:
      China 15.4%, UAE 5.5%, Saudi Arabia 5.4%, Switzerland 5.3%, US 5.1% (2015)
      Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
      $370.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
      $322.8 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 8
      ___________________________
      Debt ridden SL Government debt of about 72% of GDP remains among the highest in emerging markets.
      Exports:
      $11.28 billion (2015 est.)
      $11.13 billion (2014 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 85
      Exports – commodities:
      textiles and apparel, tea and spices; rubber manufactures; precious stones; coconut products, fish
      Exports – partners:
      US 26.1%, UK 9%, India 7.2%, Germany 4.3% (2015)
      Imports:
      $20.14 billion (2015 est.)
      $19.42 billion (2014 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 74
      Imports – commodities:
      petroleum, textiles, machinery and transportation equipment, building materials, mineral products, foodstuffs
      Imports – partners:
      India 24.6%, China 20.6%, UAE 7.1%, Singapore 5.9%, Japan 5.7% (2015)
      Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
      $7.065 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
      $8.209 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
      country comparison to the world: 87

      so India’s main import is China 15.4%, main Export US 15.2%,

      Lanka main import India 24.6%, (food is not cheaper elsewhere) main US 26.1%,

      Better you commit suicide or tell your partners the muslims gonibilla stories.

  • 9
    2

    Good write-up Mr.Alwis.
    “The four southern states of India are located closer to Colombo than to Delhi. Colombo can therefore be used as an efficient gateway to the South Indian market, giving it access to 250 million people.
    The National Savings Bank affiliate NSBFMC makes this defiant and revealing statement”
    Well, it’s about time our policy-makers woke up and saw that we are not located next to West Bengal . It is a curious thing that any three-wheeler driver can name at least 5 cities in Europe/USA ,a dozen Bollywood actors, but not a single city in Kerala. The same three-wheeler driver will describe to you the trials and tribulations of his grandmother who went to Dambadiva the other day (no toilets, dirt, flies, bad food,cunning tradesmen,etc.).He will tell you how lucky we are to live in this paradise.
    I lay the blame primarily on the British, who unified this island and told us at Independence that we have something called “sovereignty”.
    In the time of the Sinhala kings, anybody could walk (or swim)in and out ,and many did, kings included.
    So our stupid leaders insist on these newfangled visas, passports and carefully remove all traces of the earlier situation from the history books.
    So we have idiots like Samantha Kumarasingha writing books about economic threats from India. Maybe he has something to fear because he is incompetent at his beauty product business. But then his competitor Spa Ceylon has opened 4 outlets in India.

    • 5
      1

      old codger

      There are structural problems associated with export.

      One example, some years ago an acquaintance of mine spoke to an umbrella manufacturer, with a view to importing Sri Lankan made umbrellas to wherever he was domiciled. The manufacturer point blankly told him it was too expensive to import from here and advised him to look for suppliers elsewhere, China,…. etc. – competitive pricing and quality products – to do with manufacturing.

      Another example, a small wood carving firm established a small market in Europe. The firm received a reasonably large order. When the goods were delivered the several small elephant carvings were missing. That was the last order he received from the buyer. He blamed the thieving customs department. It was a small firm, had about 30 odd employees. Few months later he reluctantly made 20 employees redundant. He also complained about export clearance paper work. Most of the time he never managed to get necessary documents on time. He struggled to meet delivery date on time because of the faceless little people behind government desks.

      When will the politicians, manufacturers and state functionaries realize that final products for exports ought to be cost effective, of high quality, conscious of delivery deadline,….. ?

      • 3
        0

        “”There are structural problems associated with export.””

        ” a small wood carving firm established a small market in Europe”

        this is an attitude problem that has been in existence for generations.
        Kerala is not known in the continent or Far East as much as it known in the English/jewish speaking world. finally the europeans feel content buying the elephants and masks from Kerala for its delivery dates and ready supply. While the Americans are buying quality from Bali and the Chinese are buying from Indonesia and selling timber carvings.

        Lankans are not used to electro mechanical hand held tools eg chain saws for carrying out carvings on the tree before felling- that is expertise from childhood.

        Paperwork at export board carried 5 doors manned by peons to be paid for. A smart exporter has to weigh it (je ne sais quoi factor) before quoting.

        Remember big buyers for merchandise john lewis, M&S all have their own employee at SL for quality check before dispatch- no chances taken.

        • 3
          1

          timbuttu

          “Remember big buyers for merchandise john lewis, M&S all have their own employee at SL for quality check before dispatch- no chances taken.”

          The large firms can afford to have their own staff stationed various points on the supply chain.

          The point I was making is that small scale industries should be the back bone of any country. You better look at it from their point of view and the workers who eke out a meager earning. Instead of encouraging these industries by removing all obstacles for them to thrive, you seem you have joined the crooks who steal from small exporters and justify action/inaction of the state functionaries (well known for embedded inertia).

          Were/are you one of them?

          • 2
            0

            “2Were/are you one of them?”
            I started small scale as a teenager and never looked at what the government could offer me but what setbacks it had and I filled those effortlessly from my point of view.

            The ant armies of china are self made people with their chetu money invested in the order.- today they are some of the biggest manufacturers of the world.- they hate the party and don’t borrow from banks.

            Indonesia is as corrupt as SL and for handicrafts the best is american company in collaboration with national geographic giving back to the worker something and making something of them. (thats good for american importer) but for us there is pay pal guarantee. postage by dhl very often cost the price of the goods or more unless you have an account.

            Dependant on aid (GSP+) is not going to solve problems- what can i sell and can i make it.

            Germany runs the hub and satellite (famil manufacture) auto industry unlike UK where it’s all in one big warehouse. China has the same which was being built before WW2 by Germans and has commenced once again with Robots. of course the english can get the best prices compared to other europeans- we have to accept some reality and work towards a goal of making it in life.
            There are NGO’s minting money on groceries- not for profit but the executive is high flying like any Tesco boss.
            You get corruption everywhere. There is good business and enterprise to borrow from than copy the inevitable.

          • 0
            0

            Native Veddha,

            “You better look at it from their point of view and the workers who eke out a meager earning. “
            When we in the west need quality via internet purchase we look for specialist marketing the product in the country of manufacture and make payment something like LC say 6 weeks ahead for the poor man/woman to have the money to make it and then ship it (shipping time differs) Mass produced by machine is different.
            eg of New Delhi company of brokers all architect and engineer run with a warehouse at USA and also serving EU. ExocticIndia Art.com These items and reasonable packing is never avaliable to tourist of india or in the indian markets of the west. Of Course they can’t match Bali fineness of art and there isn’t someone like this at indonesia or Lanka.

          • 0
            0

            “”The point I was making is that small scale industries should be the back bone of any country.””

            Sri lankans who refused to climb the hills to pluck tea are not enterprising folk like the indians or chinese. SL are used to free food, free education free Bana and Dana.

            When buyers in the west lose nothing to pay upfront what is the problem.
            SL exporters are in the UK web selling groceries and spices on pay pal payments. They are ideally brokers doing the distribution.
            How pay pal works is master credit card (payment within 20 days of billing) registered with pay pal. I see your item on web and make half down payment so that your artisan gets the money to buy materials and manufacture (same as LC) and only after supplier ships goods paypal would bill me. It’s a win win better than credit card because like amazon disputes are resolved on pay pal web site and they are swift- no bank is bigger than pay pal service to buyer and seller.
            Start one like novica.com for your people or ask novica assist and enrol your people don’t wait for government dogs who await pooja culture. I have personal experience of all 3 and more by purchasing large quantities from them.

          • 0
            0

            Native Veddha
            “”The point I was making is that small scale industries should be the back bone of any country. You better look at it from their point of view and the workers who eke out a meager earning. “”

            I am repeating this just for you. American Dream was not made because government made it for the people. if you ask a government to assist then by design the government will steal (like what happened to the handicraft read weaving centre near airport, the japanese assisted??)
            you should be smart and steal to come off the well of poverty. Go over to yankee site and see what the poor artisans of indonesia and africa have to say. today they are producing top quality for our market-
            If i buy a handicraft at SL or india and and place it on the table it would scratch my table but not the yankee site marketed product- the chinese are paying billions to learn it from USA.
            If you really mean what you say and are concerned take a couple of mins off visit the site- if you have a quorum then they would teach the artisan packing and quality for export- but in heaven’s name don’t bring government, keep it private cooperative (not that i don’t have connections and they are many – but they are parasites) novico will handle the export licence bureaucracy etc. Go for it and if not please don’t brag about folk being poor. it’s like Fair trade foundation for artisans only.https://www.novica.com/womens-empowerment/

      • 0
        0

        N.V,
        The problem with our so-called businessmen is attitude. They are used to government handouts and protection, so they have trouble dealing with the Indians, who are born hard-nosed. Also, a typical Indian businessman lives very frugally until he makes his first crore, and even later. Our guy will get a Montero (on credit) as soon as he makes a million or even before.
        It is very significant that Damro, with a very short history, is doing very well in India, compared to the long-established Munchee.

  • 4
    1

    Patriot,
    I beg of you to reread what I wrote. In retirement I don’t smoke a pipe and the suggestion of the 250 million potential market is not mine either. Subject to certain limitations, it is not a pipe dream either. Ranil is not my favorite politician. But his understanding of global commerce is pragmatic and needs support.

    • 0
      1

      Sarath apologies for the reference to the pipe. Nothing wrong with your article. But to say Ranil is a realist and a pragmatist is far shot. Simple example like the Chinese Port City and Ranil’s U turn shows his level of realism. The biggest investment Sri Lanka should do is in Education and Tousrism. Labour export is our primary source of income now upgrading it to skilled labour is more pragmatic. If we can attract 10% of this 250m as wealthy tourists to Sri Lanka that is pragmatic.

      • 0
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        Pragmatic?..Realist?…you are talking about a man who stored paddy in an airport just prove how stupid he actually is!

  • 4
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    Ravana, according to legends was a “Glorious” and an “Accomplished” ruler of Sri Lanka in centuries ago. But his “Glory” and “Accomplishments” perished when he “Abducted” Rama’s wife Sita. So, Sarath is correct in saying “It is decision time for Ravana”. Now taking this historical fact, “Ravana Balaya” must decide not to “Abduct” others wives who are precious to them. So the best advice as given by Sarath is Togetherness and the decision time has come. It is also said that Ravana had “Air Power” and “Sea Power”. We have kept the legend rolling so far; but in the hands of “IDIOTS” and “VAGABONDS”. That is what happened to our National Carrier – Sri LankanAir. It was “Abducted” by MR and handed over to a “Courtier” – his Brother-in-Law who even in the least did not know from what side an aircraft took off to fly. In his dreams of aviation, so much has been done only to satisfy his “Desires” (both carnal and material) and left a heavy burden of a hefty debt wrapped National Carrier for the country. We cannot cry over split milk and waste time without doing something in the way to recovery. The best would be to reflect on once popular notion: “SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL”; think small and start afresh. One suggestion: Please start, (perhaps by Mihin) flying to Jaffna as a connection from Katunayake to provide onward journey to passengers arriving from Europe and North America. Take a survey and see how many such passenger arrive with their families to visit North and East since the war ended. They are ever willing to pay additional fare and get an onward connecting flight avoiding the hassle of travel by road with their belongings.Recently, we saw how a small child of five years lost his life along with another who were traveling from Jaffna to Katunayake to take a flight to return to their adopted country. Very many stories of this kind are available and it is time to think of that “Domestic” aviation aspect and initiate action to cater to this growing need. It would be and can be made an attractive and lucrative business venture.

    • 0
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      Douglas.
      India is on record stating it will pacify the North and East, build up the rail network to the North, provide settlement to the war widows and provide an international gateway from the North to the World via S. India.
      No need to go through Colombo anymore.
      Things are happening as we speak.
      Cheers.
      V.

  • 0
    4

    “There is no logic by which an ethnic community should enjoy the same degree of autonomy on a small island that it does on a vast subcontinent. There is also no logic by which an ethnic community which is one and half million strong in two border regions of a small island should enjoy the same quasi-federal powers that eighty million Tamils enjoy in Tamil Nadu.

    Making Tamils politically will never work for Sri lanka.

    The hindrance is Sinhala politicians of Sri lanka. They are mostly children of former politicians or they have money, so, now they are in politics. They just ride the wave and their manthra is there is a national question blah blah… They dioon’t have a brain to think. Evenif they have their focus always is how to get rich and make the extended family rich.

    So, there is a fault in the system that need to be corrected.

    Sri lanka can not neglect indian concerns. But, Sri lanka should gradually make Tamils forget their claims. “Making happy them with a little now, they asking more later” will never work. Instead, take away little by little. That will solve the problem eventually.

    • 1
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      Hey Jimmy,
      “The hindrance is Sinhala politicians of Sri lanka. They are mostly children of former politicians or they have money, so, now they are in politics. They just ride the wave and their manthra is there is a national question blah blah… They dioon’t have a brain to think. Evenif they have their focus always is how to get rich and make the extended family rich.”

      What’s up with you, Jimmy? You’re writing sense today. Have you met Jesus or something?? If you are sick, please don’t recover too soon.

      • 3
        0

        old codger

        “What’s up with you, Jimmy? You’re writing sense today. Have you met Jesus or something?? If you are sick, please don’t recover too soon.”

        He is possibly competing with the “awakened one” today.

        • 1
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          Native,
          Let us wish Jimmy a not-too-speedy recovery.

          • 0
            0

            he is not alone but there are a couple of others even soma- they see a bad moon rising.

  • 2
    0

    Sinhala Race or for that matter Tamil Race. They are good ideas.
    Something like the Great Grand Father’s Umbrella.Family pride.
    The Umbrella is about 150 years old.Only the clothe of the umbrella changed about 10 times. Iron frame was replaced about 15 times.
    And the grand handle was renewed every 10 years. If you look at it today it is as good as a new Umbrella.
    But family boast the umbrella is 150 years old !

    • 4
      0

      you wisen up to an umbrella but you are not aware that english heritage insist that retaining the front facade of an edificio is sufficient.

      This island was born for the `creepy inhabitants` and created with faith as a tool by Harry Truman (partitioning). Many lost their lives and will keep on keeping on.
      Stupid lanka’s like the former slave blacks utter `Race` .
      ?

      Lanka and India to have one of the highest levels of social hostilities involving religion in the world.

      Why shouldn’t all 20 million stupid lankans be disenfranchised?

      • 0
        2

        Lanka and India to have one of the highest levels of social hostilities involving religion in the world.

        Is this imagination, hypothesis or facts ?

        I thought it is Muslims killing muslims and muslims killing other infidels ?

        • 5
          0

          Fact: Pew Research Centre Washington DC.
          That is the cause of this 30 year terror.It all started with freedom in 1948 when the buddhist monks and muslims were set lose.

  • 5
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    Sarath De Alwis,
    “”The National Airline of Sri Lanka wants to make Colombo a regional aviation hub. It wishes to make South India its catchment area to feed a funnel in Colombo. Perfect sense in the global age.””

    How long this belt road initiative?? ports and ports to transport.

    But the importers are saying it.

    While Dayan J are Delhi looking China- 50/50

    When the giant south of Deccan wakes travel would be a wisker.

    Imports – commodities:
    petroleum, textiles, machinery and transportation equipment, building materials, mineral products, foodstuffs
    Imports – partners:
    India 24.6%, China 20.6%, UAE 7.1%, Singapore 5.9%, Japan 5.7% (2015)

  • 2
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    There is a huge price one(country) has to pay for being ignorant in this fast moving world . ignorance breed fear knowledge breeds confidence over to you Srilanka

  • 2
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    Sarath De Silva

    Dont miss lead the people.they are suggesting for provincial level.not as you stir Tamil nadu sinhala nadu etc

    Look at the rurals what are the changes have their lively hood change.dont compare Colombo Kandy etc

    You mention about the 3wheel ,where is it come from.onion to chemical bomb have to come from where?

    Gautama Buddha vijay born where?even the bo tree also came from.

    You got talent of writing make that for to build prosperous country.look at the parliament how its filling by crooks murders maffias …

    Try to educate the people you say TN is 250m look we are just 20m how far behind this country was spoiled by these elite dinhala tuddists.but there are good sinhala Buddhists still exist.

  • 0
    0

    “Abducted” Rama’s wife Sita. So, Sarath is correct in saying “It is decision time for Ravana”. Now taking this historical fact, “Ravana Balaya” must decide not to “Abduct” others wives who are precious to them.
    “historical fact”???
    Nonsense.

  • 1
    10

    The author of this article conveniently omits my advocacy– and may I say consistent advocacy for decades– of devolution and provincial autonomy, with the 13th amendment as its basis, within a unitary state.

    I admit that of the current crop of leaders I support Erdogan, Putin, Xi Jin Ping, Raul Castro, Daniel Ortega, Rafael Correa, Evo Morales ( and Bashar Assad over his opponents)…but I also supported Barack Obama and will be sorry to see him go.

    • 9
      1

      you are slippery slitherer dependant on others money for your survival and exuberance- that is what socialist needs and the totalitarianism to stay in power.
      Democracy consists of choosing your dictators after they’ve told you what you think it is you want to hear.
      Enslave the people is what political scientist are taught.

    • 0
      3

      Did they do any good by getting rid of Gadaffi or Saddam Huseein ?

      IT screwed up for everybody for decades.

      • 1
        0

        it only began after Bush Sr stopped at the request of general eva burrows.

        If they send ebola to lankawe then you will be laughing No?

  • 6
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    Dayan Jayatilleka

    “I admit that of the current crop of leaders I support Erdogan, Putin, Xi Jin Ping, Raul Castro, Daniel Ortega, Rafael Correa, Evo Morales ( and Bashar Assad over his opponents)”

    Do they really need your support to run their respective country? I can see how democratic some of them are, comparable to Premadasa and Mahinda. No wonder why you chose to work them.

    Do you now regret justifying all what they did in the name of smart ass patriotism as you had been the guard dog for several years for both.

  • 6
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    Dr.Dayan Jayatileka,

    “We must think things not words, or at least we must constantly translate our words into the facts for which they stand, if we are to keep to the real and the true.”

    The discussion is on devolution. Not about unitary versus union. Not about 13th amendment or 13 plus. Whose idea was the 13 plus. We are discussing the pursuit of common economic goals with south Indian which first will have to create a conducive climate. Your semantic hocus pocus does not address the problem.

  • 0
    1

    The discussion is on devolution. Not about unitary versus union. Not about 13th amendment or 13 plus. Whose idea was the 13 plus. We are discussing the pursuit of common economic goals with south Indian which first will have to create a conducive climate. Your semantic hocus pocus does not address the problem.

    CRAP.

    What do you say about anti-Hindu, anti-Hindi, anti-Brahmin South Indian Tamil leaders of north Indian origin use above Tamil sentiments for political purposes ?

    “Otherness Or Togetherness: Decision Time For Ravana “

    those following middle eastern culture and the politico-religious thought reason based on that. Probably, Kolvin R De Silva is also a christian/Catholic.

    Hindia has to do that because, South India is part of Greater HIndia. But, in here, they are just from the neighbouring country and are bullying Sinhale people for the same as in South India.

    Politicians after the Independance were dumb and were not patriotic. they were just like now. SWRD did not have backbone to implement “Sinhala-Only Act. Just for proposing, he is criticized even todate.

    On the other hand, burmese govt got rid of Indian Tamils some of whom naturalized in Sri lanka and are asking for homeland.

  • 0
    0

    De Alwis:

    “Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka deserves to be congratulated for his forthright views which leaves no one in doubt. He insists that Tamils in Tamil Nadu and Tamils in the North of Sri Lanka constitute an existential threat to the Sinhala nation. It is best to quote him in his own carefully composed, eloquently argued, bountiful bigotry.

    “Bountiful bigotry”! Marvelous phrasing !!

  • 0
    0

    When will Sarath realize that devolution is only the wrapper around separation.
    Doesn’t the behavior of viggiy tell you anything? Have look at the proposed so called ‘New constitution’ it says it all.

    • 0
      0

      Only the Sinhala buddhists understand the repurcussions.

      For others, brain wiring is different.

    • 4
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      NAK

      “When will Sarath realize that devolution is only the wrapper around separation.”

      If you haven’t learnt anything in the past 45 years sadly you are not going to learn anything in the next 45 years.

      Hindians have time and again demonstrated they are the underwriters of internal and external security of this island.

      Also don’t forget Hindians believe Sri Lanka is the Sinhala state of Hindia.

      Wiggy, Sam, MS,RW, CBK, MR, Gota, ………….. have to think, work, develop, destroy ….. within these constraints.

      However the people have little room to learn, think, develop, … given that their freedom is confined by additional constraints, such as the Sinhala/Buddhist state, Sinhala/Buddhist corrupt politicians, the Sinhala/Buddhist corrupt state functionaries, Sinhala/Buddhist Sangha, …. mostly by people like you, the noisy Sinhala/Buddhist minority who clamour for blood.

      You pose imminent danger to this country, region and the world at large. Another threat posed not by ISIS but by the Sinhala/Buddhist variety.

      Dutta Gamini’s war against Elara was the first known religious war in this island, (so we are told) …. it appears now you want to continue Dutta’s crusade after the Gota’s war.

  • 1
    1

    Nak,

    ‘ When will Sarath realize that devolution is only the wrapper around separation?

    There is integration, assimilation or separation.

    Centralization is detrimental to liberty. Devolution defines liberty.

    • 3
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      “”Devolution defines liberty.”

      Definitions are matters of convenience therefore its all the more important for one to analyse precisely what he means by concept of Liberty.

      the much harped socialist ideal;devolution has not worked during Gordon Brown’s period.

      Love of liberty means the guarding of every resource that makes freedom possible–from the sanctity of our families and the wealth of our soil to the genius of our scientists.- “Ike” Eisenhower

      • 1
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        These people believe with the devolution politicians will become content and stop asking more.

        Definitely that will work for the church and muslims doing their business silently.

        that is what these say indirectly.

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