21 May, 2024

Blog

Planning For A Year Of Elections

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

Several months ago, I forecast that the most likely election scenario in 2024 was a Presidential stand-off between Anura Kumara Dissanayake of the JVP/NPP, and Ranil Wickremesinghe leading a UNP consensus group. The latter view was based on the assumption that Sajith Premadasa, the SJB and sundry pro-UNP factions would in the end all rally round a consensus group mobilised around RW. They would have to promise Sajith the position of Prime Minister and nomination for the Presidency next time. I continue to hold that this forecast is valid.

Media reports in the last fortnight suggest that a consensus grouping is indeed consolidating behind RW as the only feasible way to retard enthusiasm gathering among young people and underprivileged social classes who support Anura. Indeed, there are numerous schemes and diversions in play at the moment on the RW-UNP-Sajith axis. It seems that the ‘Economic Council ‘of the SJB has challenged the ‘Economic Council’ of the NPP for an exchange of views on how each side plans to overcome sovereign default. A GL Peiris-led splinter group of the SLPP has signed an MOU with the SJB about forming an alliance for the upcoming elections. RW has directed ITN to live telecast Sajith–AKD debate! What’s in it for him? There are many irons in the fire and many distractions at play in this year of upcoming elections.

Secondly, I also suggested months ago that the Parliamentary Elections would be a more contentious than Presidential Elections and the chances of either the UNP-group or the NPP/JVP alliance securing enough seats to form a stable government was not good. The NPP’s choice for Prime Minister is likely to be Harini which is good as I see no other viable candidate. At this time of writing, I feel no need to change either of these assessments regarding the Presidency or Parliament. Therefore, the purpose of this essay is to discuss the next step.

For left-minded people, including me, an Anura Presidency and a Harini Prime Ministership are desirable options. Desirable but not easy to achieve, and my objective today is to assess the difficulties standing in the way and suggest ways to address them. So here goes.

First, an anecdote related by a World Bank official and prominent businessman living in the US. He and a few industry heads (all capitalists) invited Anura Kumara for a private dinner and informal chat. Their conclusion was that Anura’s grasp of economics and public finance is limited. In the view of these business people, he used worn-out political cliches like “we will eliminate corruption” and “we will to alleviate poverty”, but gave no meaningful or concrete programme details on how to set about it. It is of course to be expected that the big bourgeoisie dislikes Anura, nevertheless the NPP needs to foster a core of knowledgeable economists and intellectuals around itself.

The difficulties confronting the JVP and the NPP are as follows. There is nothing new in this list; it has all been discussed before, but I repeat it as a starting point.

a) There is fear in the minds of the urban and rural middle-classes, hence a majority of the population, that the JVP may resort to violence again (1971, 1983, 1989, murder of Vijaya Kumaratunga, attempts to assassinate Vickremabahu and destroy the NSSP, and so on).

b) Linked to (a) is concern that future changes of government by regular democratic elections will not be permitted. (Has the JVP made any explicit promises in this respect?)

c) Will the Tamil and Muslim communities trust the NPP? Why should they? What does the NPP program say about devolution? What reason is there to believe that the JVP’s anti minority stance has changed?

d) To the best of my knowledge the NPP has not published a comprehensive economic plan and programme. I understand internal discussions are taking place but there has been no public offering. (I draw attention to the distinction from 1970 when the United Front presented a detailed economic document in preparation for the election).

e) There are negative comments made about the JVP/NPP leaderships’ depth of knowledge about economic matters. That does not matter if leaders are backed by well-informed economic teams, but doubts are being cast on this as mentioned in the above anecdote about Lankan-US businessmen.

Items (a) to (d) are manifestly political and belong to that dimension. Item (e) however is in the economic category and I will now briefly comment on Sri Lanka’s economic situation – international and domestic – with emphasis on the former.

The foreign debt stock by major lenders as it was in 2019 is shown in the diagram. The total debt shown in the figure is $45 billion (may be $50 to $60 billion by end 2023) and nearly 50% is composed of “Market Borrowings” held by International Sovereign Lenders. These are capitalist lending funds, trusts and other profit maximising agencies charging interest rates of 7 to 8%.

One can plead with other countries (China, Japan and India) and with multilateral lenders such as the ADB and the World Bank but market lenders are in it for the profit so they won’t (can’t) make charitable concessions. We are caught by the balls to use a familiar expression.

And now let me say a few words about Bonds and Bond Yields

Bonds

The Total Bond yield is the amount of return an investor can expect on a bond (lending to a country). The “Coupon Rate” and “Current Yield” are added together to give the Total Yield. The lousier a country’s economic prospects the higher the Total Yield without which investors won’t lend to a basket-case country. A bond rating, given to a country by a Rating Agency, indicates the risk involved in purchasing a country’s bonds. Ok, that’s all laymen like you and I need to know about nursery level political-economics.

All (inverted) Bond yields are 25 to 30%; very high!
Source: Central Bank
(Figure shows Inverted Bond Yields)

All of the above are matters that a trained economist can take in his stride and the NPP can obtain ample guidance. So why am I making such a song and dance about it? Well, the immediate past hangs heavy on this country like a pall. Remember Gotabaya Rajapaksa, president hardly a decade ago?  You can’t write him off as a bad dream. Gota may be a moron whose brain has liquified by too frequent banging of boots on hard ground, but it did happen, recently.

Remember Gota’s Viyathmaga; the imbeciles gathered around him? Pure, unmitigated imbeciles! I know a few of them; “qualified” engineers and scientists! They destroyed the country’s agriculture by resorting to a wacky version of organic farming and much else. For a full accounting of the Viyathmaga imbecile tragicomedy read Sarath De Alwis in Colombo Telegraph, 11 March 2017. The NPP cannot afford to take anything for granted since all this happened only a few years ago!

For example, Gota made large tax cuts causing budget deficits to soar. These included an increased tax-free threshold, resulting in a 35% decline in taxpayers, cutting VAT to 8%, reducing corporate tax from 28% to 24% and abolishing Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE). The massive loss of revenue prompted Rating Agencies to downgrade our sovereign credit-rating; Bonds collapsed. To cover spending the Central Bank printed money in record amounts ignoring advice to stop money printing and instead hike interest rates, raise taxes and cut spending. On 6 April 2022 alone CBSL printed 120 billion rupees, the record for a single day. The paper-money that was added to financial markets in 2022 increased to Rs. 433 billion. Money printing led to an economic implosion.

JVP/NPP does not need to have in-house all the technical savvy to deal with all these issues. My argument, ad nauseam in the last few months has only been that it must acquire people with these abilities around it. It needs them to govern. Getting power is one thing but expertise is needed to govern, to deal with external finances, to formulate import-export policy, to run the Central Bank, trade ministry, education, health and state infrastructure.

Ranil and the newly energised UNP consortium is taking the “IMF line” – cutting expenditure by reducing people’s consumption, raising prices of essential subsidies such as electricity, limiting welfare expenditure and cutting back on education and healthcare. The business community (capitalist class) is cheering on.

The NPP must counter this by more tangible proposals. Bland statements like “we will eliminate corruption” and “we will to alleviate poverty” are inadequate. The NPP needs to rise to the challenge.

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Latest comments

  • 6
    9

    Initial part of the article is about Kumar David’s personal opinion only. He assume he has a position of economic guru to NPP which is not the case. People gathering around Ranil leadrship is Bull…..
    He conclude that Vijaya was killed by JVP but the evidence are contrary to that.
    he said there are more to economics than elimination of corruption, partially true. But remember when a leader leads a simple life like ordinary people they will accept economic suffering for the future development of the country.
    All advise on NPP that he make should be applied all other parties as well. They have done it and failed badly many times. He failed to mention it. Kumar your intention are admirable but contents are being written by self appointed economic pundits repeatedly in thousand times in local press it become sickening to read again.

    • 10
      3

      “…He conclude that Vijaya was killed by JVP but the evidence are contrary to that….”
      This is pure BS!!
      So JVP did not kill anyone during the 88/89 terror period??
      It is really funny that people like you trying to propagate that JVP guys were absolute saints during 88/89 terror time!!
      Can you show us your so called evidence that Vijaya was not killed by the JVP?
      A clue: Which ugly man ordered to shoot Vijaya in his face instead of the chest??

      • 7
        1

        Jit,
        .
        nice to see you appearing here again. JVPrs have not the least knoweldge to govern this country, but people are going to be fooled again.
        :
        I am in full agreement with you brother. I have still pains in memories whenver I miss my buddies from Angulugaha and Imaduwa, whose heads were apart by JVPrs and hang them on their house gates. Ho brutal were they then ? Now trying to put the entire blame on theen govt run by Premamdasa.
        :
        Even today, when I listen to those street thugs of Nalin Hewage or Lal Kantha, I am compelled to go back to my tramatisations even if it took 33 years.

        • 1
          0

          Thanks LM, I simply couldn’t stand the BS some people make in CT anymore hence the reaction. I was working in Colombo in those dark days so I wouldn’t be conned by those who now desperately try to venerate Wijeweera and pass all the bucks to Premadasa’s account. We know that it is not true at all! Currently I don’t live in SL as you already know, so honestly I do not know what kind of a party JVP now is, or am interested making assumptions on them either. However, they definitely had blood in their hands in 88/89 period as much as in the hands of Ranjan’s multiple elite forces or Rajitha’s PRAA or Prabha’s LTTE or Padmanabha’s EPRLF.
          No more no less!

          • 0
            0

            I agree absolutely, Jit.
            .
            Yes, I know, personally, that honest, blunt, Ranjan Wijeratne, had plenty of blood on his hands, as had the JVP. Wijeweera, personally, was a pretty nasty and frustrated man, but not as bad JRJ & honest Cyril Mathew. This is the problem; most of us human beings are a mix of good and evil.
            .
            I can also see that “leelagemalli” is now succeeding in finding out videos which are amongst the most relevant for us at the present time.
            .
            Jit, I hope that you too have listed to that Nalinda Jayathissa video that LM has linked us to. I’m sure that some of LM’s best friends were brutally killed by somebody, probably by the JVP. A situation of war brings out the worst in human beings. However, there were two sides to that violence in the period from 1988 to 1990. Thank God that that is over.
            .
            It will be very difficult to investigate all that now.
            .
            I don’t venerate Wijeweera, but I hope that you will take AKD seriously. A really good man as has been said by this Catholic priest, Fr Chryso Pieris SJ.
            .
            https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/waging-peace/
            .
            Given the way things are now going, I think that Rajapaksas+Ranil goose will be well and truly cooked.
            .
            Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela

      • 2
        2

        Look it’s been thirty-something years ago, besides the entire politburo of the then JVP were wiped out or passed on. The current group has entered mainstream politics, and it’s time to stop nitpicking and move on.
        Personally, my only concern is their (JVP/NPP) s economic credentials. Only a public debate between The JVP/NPP and SJB economic managers will and can determine this.

        • 2
          0

          Cylops,
          Only a public debate between JVP/NPP and SJB economic managers will decide this. This would be endorsed by anyone with some knowledge.

          If not the NPP, who will oppose it? Instead, they suggested the party leaders to come to a discussion. But there must be following order
          .
          1) At first, a discussion or debate should be held between two groups of economists.
          .
          2) Party leaders, about their agendas once elected should be discussed next.

          The JVP-led NPP is not cooperating at all. so, how do they build consensus with their opponents in a future GOVT ? SRILANKA is btw a heterogenous society.

      • 0
        1

        Dear Jit,
        .
        Telling fact from fiction is becoming increasingly difficult.
        .
        AKD himself has admitted that there are things that the JVP did during 88/90 period of terror. I’m listening to it again, whilst typing this.
        .
        https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=331470387010716
        .
        Note what he says at the very end – if possible, I’ll give the exact time, when the recording comes to that point. 12’51″of 13.13. It is all in Sinhala; I’m sorry, I can’t type in Sinhala. Translating, he is asked by Saroj Pathirana whether he asks forgiveness (“samava illanava”, he says “definitely” (Sinhala word, “anivarayen“).

        .
        AKD was not even a member of the JVP in 1990, but he is here taking responsibility as the leader of the JVP. I did not hear it in 2014. I first heard this in a video released on 30 Mar 2024. Note the confusion in YouTube comments in March and April 2024. . I was among those made a comment, but I can’t find that recent release now. I did give it in a CT comment; if I find it, I will give it later.)

      • 0
        1

        PART TWO
        .
        I didn’t know who Saroj Pathirana was; I managed to track him down. He has replied my email at 9.34 am. and, although I didn’t actually speak to him, he replied on WhatsApp saying that he was “at a function”. That was at 9.56 am. All those on 2 April 2024. On my inquiring where he then was, he’s said, “Yes, yes, in Sri Lanka.”
        .
        Ah, I’ve now found what I saw about 15 days ago:
        .
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IL1-RW6h7d4
        .
        This CT comment has “evolved”. I’m letting it stand as it has got typed in – of course there was the usual back and forth editing.
        .
        Having said all that, I rang his WhatsApp @ 1.24 pm. Since there was no response, I’ve texted my apology, and told him that I would email him.
        .
        This is the truth, and I think that AKD is as truthful as possible.
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V) of 51B, Golf Links Road, Bandarawela

        • 4
          0

          Dear SM, thanks for the links but no thank you! I wouldn’t go through those simply because they are irrelevant to my point. My reply to Jack was a spontaneous one as they tried to adulate one of the most destructive political characters of SL. I do not have much knowledge about the current JVP and you may well support them and I dont discuss that as it is your own political liberty. However, JVP under Wijeweera did irreversible damage to Sri Lanka’s socio economic and political spheres with no meaningful gain whatsoever. So many academics and pundits write here in CT that 71 and 88/89 were eye openers for the elite politicians in SL but that is outright BS. Particularly the 1971 insurrection was absolutely unnecessary which created huge dents in our democracy with the first political havoc in our history since the independence. There were much better smarter ways to change the ‘white coat clad politicians’ and their culture if that was what Wijeweera wanted to do. Truth is, Wijeweera was hypnotized with the Latino communist wave at that time led by Che and Castro – nothing else! And the very immature and childish way he led thousands of naive SL youths into this (unnecessary) armed insurrection and mass deaths is still unforgivable!!

      • 2
        0

        if we repsect merely the truths, if someone had killed own folks, they are nobody else, but the two groups of rebells that I have listed below.
        1) LTTE rebells
        2) JVP rebells
        .
        Both have broken records going beyond all atrocities in their riots against govts.

        However, AKD led groups dont seem to confess it even today. Long due apology for 89-92 should be repeated as much as they can, if they are to be given a mandate to rule this nation.
        Ironically, those who supported (most stupid gorups of the population) to GOTA’s election are today taking the side of MALIMAWA….. this should be a joke, is not that so ?

        As I notice it, People are now disturbed by AKD-clean talks as if they did not kill innoicent youth in 89-92. I know it well, because I escape my life by leaving the country for europe. All my sand-kasten friends were killed so brutally.

      • 3
        0

        Jit,
        .
        We must not hang on to the past as some of our fools do, and yet we must not allow ourselves to repeat it because of our ignorance of stupid masses.
        . Not only the NPP, but there are many others in this country who will radically support any coalition government that fights rampant corruption genuinely
        . It is human to commit a great wrong, and we must introduce the culture “forgive and forget,” but not forget the most serious crimes.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mkL8x_QVQU&list=TLPQMTYwNDIwMjSgiMr6ifhzKw&index=8

        That way we can at least come forward with our efforts. Now blaming all the big parties, but trying to be saints, won’t help us move forward an inch.

        • 3
          0

          LM, to expect any type of a cleaner governance, you must have a robust judiciary. Sensible voters. Civic minded citizens. Independent fourth estate – the press.
          Do we have ANY of those????
          “The answer is blowing in the wind” – Bob Dylan

    • 4
      0

      Jack
      The Ripper

      “He conclude that Vijaya was killed by JVP but the evidence are contrary to that.”

      Chandrika was quoted saying her husband Vijaya Kumaranatunga was assassinated by JVP, ….

      Let say he was assassinated by LTTE to make Lester, happy. ….
      Lester might even quote Ex-DIG Edward Gunawardena.

  • 13
    0

    Clearly “we will eliminate corruption” and “we will [to] alleviate poverty” are empty slogans if not backed by sound substance. However, if the leadership surrounds itself with capable civil servants and administrators (there are plenty of them in SL) and really listen to them rather than to dictate to them, the country should be ok. I’d rather prefer newbies who learn on the job than the current rotten lot who bankrupted the country morally, politically, socially, culturally and economically.

    • 1
      0

      Balanced View,
      Correct! Very well said, especially the part: I’d rather prefer newbies who learn on the job than the current rotten lot who bankrupted the country morally, politically, socially, culturally and economically.

  • 15
    10

    The social system of the Sinhalayas is based on patronage. It cannot be shaken off easily. The regrouping of the right is based on the patronage system where all the tottering old hags who can hardly walk are getting together to bolster up an ageing stooge of the West. The World Bank and the ADB have started warning that the elections my derail the good that RW has begun. There will be more to come. The Maha Sangha who watched over the Gota mishaps will get into the act as time passes. More goodies will be rolled out as happened prior to the April New Year. IMF will inject more money into the system. a couple of ethnic incidents will be created to show the Tamil/Muslim threat to the Mahavamsa Morons. The No Plan Party will totter around attracting large crowds which will as usual watch but not deliver. Normalcy will return to Mother Lanka. The crooks will continue to rule as before.

    • 1
      0

      Cicero,
      So true! Well said. But remember there are many in the Maha Sanga who are with and for the JVP-NPP.

  • 17
    10

    “For example, Gota made large tax cuts causing budget deficits to soar. These included an increased tax-free threshold, resulting in a 35% decline in taxpayers, cutting VAT to 8%, reducing corporate tax from 28% to 24% and abolishing Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE).”


    That’s pure monkey see monkey do.

    Trump did a similar thing as soon as he came to power. …….. America can get away with it cause they can print the world’s reserve-currency as they please. …… MMT-ers can somewhat get away with it ……. at least for a time.

    Hope now, Lankans won’t go after the monkeys and kill them all.

    LS says …….humans have 98% chimpanzee DNA …… that’ll be the best place to start.

    • 9
      10

      Nimal,
      “America can get away with it because they CAN PRINT THE WORLD’S RESERVE-CURRENCY AS THEY PLEASE.”
      RW has the solution for that!? He has tied-up with Indian Rupee, and soon IR is replacing USD as reserve currency!!!??? That’s the Grand Master Plan (GMP) of RW/NM Combine in 2048 – remember the Year RW promised SL economy would have REVAMPED back in 07/2022 when he ascended the “Throne”!!?? People asked why so long, NOW you know why!!?? “NET WORKING”!!??

    • 12
      0

      Lanka has no foolish people ……. become the president by any hook or by crook ……. they fall at ye feet ……. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06AzALDxI_s

      The man has finally achieved his lifelong ambition ……… he’s in his element …….

      How many votes will he get? ….. Mine for sure ……..

    • 6
      0

      nimal fernando

      “That’s pure monkey see monkey do.”

      You mean Knife-wielding drunken monkey, …… banning fertilizer, cutting taxes, chopping his own b***s, …… .. running away, ….

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2016/feb/19/knife-wielding-monkey-on-bar-roof-terrifies-locals-in-brazil-video

      It must be Gota.

      • 11
        1

        Native,

        I had resigned to our fate …… a long time ago: in the first few months of my life! :)) ……… I’ve no illusions: I’m a realist and a raving cynic. …….. The last thing I live on ……. is hope.

        Every time I step off the plane to Lanka ……. this is the first thing I see in giant neon lights ………. ‘Abandon all hope ye who enter here.’

        “I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive.” …… cause I know the truth/reality ………. and have build up the courage to face it. …….. Can you?


        Even if we have the will …… do we have the knowledge, skill, talent, experience, the knowhow, to save ourselves?

        Please please please ……… don’t even mention Ranil …….. most of the problems the nation is facing today is due to flaws of Ranil’s character! It’s unfortunate the nation was saddled with him for so long!!

        Ranil was not brought in as the president to save the country or the people. He was brought in by the crooks to save the crooks. And he has done a marvellous job of saving the crooks. It would be churlish of me not to grant him that! :)))



        I guess this is the most appropriate …….. About Ranil and the rest of the false political Gods ……. the people have created for themselves.


        Borges’s story “Ragnarök,” about false gods and the need to destroy them,

        • 10
          0

          cont,

          Ragnarok

          In dreams (Coleridge writes), images take the shape of the effects we believe they cause. We are not terrified because some sphinx is threatening us but rather dream of a sphinx in order to explain the terror we are feeling. If this is the case, how can a simple account of such imaginings communicate the dread and the thrills, the adventure, anxieties, and joys conjured by last night’s dream? I am going to attempt to do this all the same. Perhaps the fact that the entire dream consisted of a single scene will erase or ease this fundamental difficulty.

          • 8
            0

            cont,

            It took place in the Humanities Building, at dusk. As often happens in dreams, everything was somehow different: everything had been affected by a slight enlargement. We were electing people to committees. I was chatting with Pedro Henriquez Urena, who in reality has been dead for many years. Suddenly we were assaulted by the racket of a street band or a demonstration. The cries of people and animals reached us from the Lower City. A voice cried: “Here they come!” then: “It’s the Gods!” Four or five individuals emerged from the mob and took their places on the stage of the lecture hall. We all cheered, weeping: it was the Gods, coming back after centuries of exile. The stage made them taller: they threw their heads back and thrust their chests forward in haughty acceptance of our homage. One of them was holding a bough of the kind no doubt required by the simplistic botany of dreams; another made a broad gesture with his hand, which was a claw; one of Janus’s faces looked apprehensively at the curving beak of Thoth. Stirred perhaps by our cheers, another one–I’m no longer sure which one–broke out in triumphant but incredibly harsh clacking, complete with gargles and whistles. From that point on, things began to change.

            • 8
              0

              cont,

              It was all due to our perhaps precipitous suspicion that the Gods did not know how to talk. Hundreds of years of living like animals on the run had atrophied their human dimension. The moon of Islam and the Roman Cross had been merciless with these fugitives. The decadence of the Olympic bloodline was evident in their beetling brows, yellowed teeth, patchy half-breed or Chinese whiskers, and bestial protruding lips. Their clothing spoke not of genteel poverty but of the flashy bad taste of the Lower City’s back rooms and bordellos. A carnation bled from one buttonhole; we detected the outline of a dagger under a tight-fitting jacket. All at once we sensed that they were playing their last card, that they had grown sly, stultified and cruel like aging beasts of prey, and that they would destroy us if we allowed ourselves to be swayed by fear or pity.

              We drew our heavy pistols (in the dream, they just appeared) and cheerfully put the Gods to death.

              • 1
                0

                Hello Nimal,
                Maybe you, like Jorge Luis Borges, have been partaking too much of the Vedic Soma 😎. In our adolescence we (as a generation) had a fleeting involvement with Literature that wrote of the Archetypes of Jung, Borges and others. At that time we were, like Borges, interested in the “metaphysical, immortal, deities, and infinity” We read books like William S Burroughs “Naked Lunch”, Aldous Huxley “The Doors of Perception” and Doris Lessing “Briefing for a Descent into Hell” however we soon realised that these were not descriptions of reality, but metaphors for our thoughts (unconscious or otherwise) and dreams. We read the works of RD Laing, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Smallcreep’s Day and many others. Then we discovered Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman, Schrodinger, Darwin and Stephen J Gould. The world began to make sense (sometimes).
                I am sure that DTG will give a relevant biblical interpretation of Borges’ dream. The slaying of the old corrupted Gods may be taken as a Metaphor for dispatching the current 225. However, as the “Gods” are created in the heads of Humans, they are not so easily dispensed with.
                Best regards

                • 6
                  0

                  LS,

                  Strangely enough ……. most of those books, I read, in my early teens. So, I’ve a wide-eyed child’s view of them. I don’t read much now, except Native and his tirades against women. I might need them. Not everyone is OC: God’s gift to the ladies. DTG willing.

                  I read the trashy ones pretty quickly ……..”Gone with the Wind” in 3 – 4 days ……. and “And Quiet Flows the Don” in about a week. The rest took longer or I never finished.

                  The books were lying around in our house ……. mostly books won in school prize givings by my parents and older siblings. Some sorta won everything in sight.

                  I won zilch but studied for 2 months and got the best results in the family and the school. If not, I would’ve ended up in parliament! The forum would’ve been ablaze, Native would’ve killed himself. Sinhala_Man would’ve joined the circus with his Honda: Globe of Death. …….. People should learn to be thankful for small mercies: the country had a close shave! ……….. That’s a long yarn for another day.

                  I like stories told as parables ……. the non-concrete nature of them …….. where people are left/free to make their own interpretations.

                  • 0
                    0

                    cont


                    Where I’m at now …….. something I wrote in the forum in 2016 :)))


                    “At this stage of my life I’ve come to believe that education, religion and culture, in the main, is nothing but a gang rape of our minds that smothers independent thinking and prevents us from thinking for ourselves.


                    I’ve read the story of a girl who was gang raped, and later she would sit in the bath tub for hours trying to wash it away day after day. This is what I’ve done most of my adult life; trying to wash away the gang rape of education, religion and culture. Some days are good some days are not.

                    I despise “trained” “system-thinkers” who can’t take the blinkers off and get off the tracks they are put to travel on. It’s too predictable; where they start and where they end.”

                    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/elitism-in-sri-lanka-is-it-a-scourge-or-a-blessing/

                    • 1
                      0

                      Hello Nimal,
                      “Group-think is rife in the IT Industry, not amongst the Technical Personnel, but amongst the Project Managers and their ilk. I don’t know if there is a National equivalent or a proper Psychiatric term for the collective brain-fogging that you are describing.
                      Best regards

    • 0
      0

      nimal fernando, It is all rubbish that humans have 98% chimpanzee DNA. These lies are perpetrated by those who want to prove evolution, but in reality, man Adam was Creator God’s image and his DNA in us got polluted due to the sin of Eve deceived by the devil who is crazy about being worshipped. All humans have flawed DNA due to the sin of disobedience and Jesus gave the solution in giving the Holy Communion to the church to gradually change back the flawed DNA to the planned original. We did not come from animals like monkeys and chimpanzees who were named with all other animals like even the elephant, by Adam himself.

      • 0
        0

        Amen.

  • 9
    9

    Any colours red blue pink green yellow…… won’t do any better until put the house in order,have basic human principles discipline maintain respect learn to treat fellow citizens respect other religions too comes out of super mercy religion and the race that is why law and order is lacking..
    .
    Another obstacle to move forward is the “dual/PR”one foot is for fake patriotic the other foot is in firm grip on milk and the honey secured future.for family we have seen Gota ,Basil .. HDML eagle eye etc
    .

  • 12
    10

    “The NPP needs to rise to the challenge”
    The challenges are huge not only for NPP but also for the people and Country. The major challenge is to win the elections. Now, it appears that the traditional game players Rajapaksa family, Ranil UNP with the international support are uniting together against to NPP. It also appears that Sajith may also join hand with Ranil to face NPP. In other words, NPP has to face UNP-SLPP- Sajith, racism and Buddhist Fundamentalism. NPP/JVP have created a negative image among Tamils. Muslims always with UNP or Rajapaksa. Further, the traditional politics are very capable of political coups if they need to create a situation to put the blame on NPP. For example, during the last stage of “Aragalaya” they created violence against Aragalaya and then put all the blame on “Aragalaya” once they removed Gota and brought Ranil into power. Now they also created an image Ranil is the gift of the God to save the country.

  • 7
    12

    Now, that a New Year has started for both Tamil and Sinhala speaking citizens of SL, we pray/hope that
    all the ILLS of the country will be SORTED soon. Our recovery from ALL the political social & economic issues should come by having the LAW & ORDER established FIRST & FOREMOST. The NPP is the ONLY hope for NOT ONLY left -minded citizens but to all ‘ RIGHT’ minded voters of SL. The NPP should NOT get caught for the ‘TRAPS’ that will be placed by the PEOPLE who wants to continue the CURRENT corrupt SYSTEMS.
    As far as TAMILS concerned, they SHOULD be satisfied with getting the NPP elected as the FUTURE leaders of the country and HOPE for all good things to come.
    NPP should not get involved in any debates on any topics as the opponents are waiting to SCARE the voters.
    NPP is not the JVP of the past. Tamils speaking citizens should vote for the ‘COMPASS’ symbol.

    • 3
      0

      “NPP is not the JVP of the past. Tamils speaking citizens should vote for the ‘COMPASS’ symbol.”
      I agree that Tamils should not vote for Ranil or Sagith or Rajapaksa family. So, comparatively NPP is better choice if Tamils decide to vote. But, As a national party NPP did not made any effort to make their contribution towards the Tamil or Muslim population. At least, they should have done some sort of activities at the end of the war at grass root level. They have not done enough to separate them from the racist and fundamentalist politics of Rajapaksa or Ranil until “Aragalaya”. It is important for NPP to create an image that NPP is for all and they stand for justice to all.

      • 0
        0

        Dear Naman & Ajith,
        .
        Many thanks to both of you.
        You have come up with great comments.
        .
        You have hit upon the truth, all the more creditable of you, considering that I feel that there has been little put out in Tamil. I can’t be sure of that, since I don’t know a word of that language.
        .
        For English, we have been well served by Colombo Telegraph, and writers like Kumar David, Ameer Ali, Vishwamithra, Rajan Philips, Ravi Perera, etc.
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V)

  • 7
    2

    I have repeatedly questioned the NPP economic recovery policy & its sources of funding from enthusiastic NPP supporters who have been contributing to CT with their personal views & assumptions of NPP economics but now Prof David seems to have the same concerns. So there are intellectuals now who also share my concerns. The NPP rhetoric has always been ‘we will…’ but no mention of ‘how?’.

    We always had self serving dumb Presidents, from mediocre at best to totally out of depth yobs, so, in that context, AKD’s poor grasp of economics is not a hindrance, provided he has the basic intelligence, integrity & statesmanship qualities. My only question to AKD is why he continues to lead a party which still venerates its past murderous leader & pursues (failed) communist ideology (as indicated in their website). If he is a ‘moderate’, why not cutoff the JVP baggage & concentrate on the new ‘people friendly’ party he also leads? Isn’t there a conflict of interest? My conclusion is that the JVP is piggybacking on the NPP & once in power, the old JVP with AKD, being its leader as well, will be calling the shots. In this scenario, what can we expect? A ‘socialist’ govt. for life with the iron fist of communist ideology?
    Cont.

    • 7
      1

      Cont.
      I would not mind AKD as President, provided he is able to bring reforms to end corruption, hold those responsible for past crimes against the state & mismanagement of public funds accountable with appropriate punishment, ensure independence of the judiciary, enforcing law & order with the power of the police & military highhandedness curtailed. However, the NPP in govt. is not, in my opinion, the best for SL. This poses a dilemma, a President & a serving govt. from different parties, pulling in different directions, & we have seen it before.

      Apparently, the yobs of PPP are now jumping ship & supporting RW, who was subject to their ridicule not so long ago. If RW accepts these pole-vaulters, it only confirms his lack of character & as just another opportunistic politician. His only saving grace would be to shed these undesirables & get some honourable people around him but will their be any takers is the question. On the other hand, Premadasa jnr. has not proven his credibility despite his perceived international education & sophistication. He also carries baggage & desperate to do a deal with the same yobs. The best case scenario I would hope for is AKD as President with either the UNP or SJB with a new leadership, which would be prepared to shed the deadwood & the undesirables in favor of educated people with integrity.

      • 0
        2

        Dear Raj_UK,
        .
        I don’t think that we will ever satisfy you, but at least you recognise the the positives about the NPP.
        .
        I can’t see a coalition of the NPP and anybody before the Presidential Election. However, after both elections are over, I’m sure that they will work in a civilesd way with who-ever else has been elected.
        .
        What Ranil is doing – allowing us to be unsure whether the elections will be held or not.
        .
        I read this article through at dawn this morning, and now, just before midnight, I’m submitting this comment. From your comments, it appears to me that you understand that the NPP will be our best bet for good governance, but you are emotionally unprepared to grant this.
        .
        You just don’t know this country any more. I don’t think that there are “undesirables” in the leadership of the Party who would derail progress. Why don’t you name them? It will then be possible for us to discuss them with you.
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela
        .

        • 2
          0

          SM

          I consider AKD as a decent politician compared to the current bunch of yobs in Parliament but I have no faith in a ‘socialist’ regime & I see nothing positive about the NPP, yet. I applaud the NPP promise to eradicate corruption & bringing to justice those who plundered the country but its just words. However, considering the current Presidential hopefuls, I prefer AKD, & with the powers granted as President, I hope he can carryout his promises but I am not holding my breath. In fact, I will have more faith in AKD if steps down from the JVP leadership but as it’s leader, obviously, subscribe to their communist ideology. AKD being the leader of JVP & NPP, to me, only indicates the JVP influence behind the facade. JVP on its own would never be a vote winner, therefore, the only way the JVP can ever dream of power is by pigging backing on a more acceptable face but once in power, they can call the shots with AKD as the leader of both parties, which is why I say conflict of interest. If AKD posses the statesmanship qualities, he should be able to stand up to his principals he is so passionate about even without the clout of NPP behind him. A rotten leader is a bad influnce & AKD can

          • 2
            0

            Apologies, my comment got posted accidently before I could finish the sentence.

            A rotten leader is a bad influence but AKD can set an example & inspire, which I would attribute to Statesmanship but the NPP in government? No way Jose.

            As for naming the undesirables, the list is too long. Alphabetically, among the current bunch of punks, irrespective of the party, I can start with Abeygunawardana & Aluthgamage. I am sure you can compile a comprehensive list better than me. If you are more specific about the NPP undesirables, you can consider the whole of the JVP old guard, the others, I am not familiar with, unless nominees are published with their credentials. Even AKD, who I consider as a moderate, has a question mark against him because of his JVP connection but I am prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt.

      • 1
        0

        Hello Raj-UK,
        Political parties like NPP have histories hanging round their necks like the Ancient Mariner’s Albatross. Maybe after the Election (if it happens) they will be traveling from Village to Village (like the Mariner) telling the story of how it was stolen from them.
        Best regards

        • 1
          0

          The JVP made a great electoral comeback in 2002, but used bad strategy soon after by competing with the JHU for the chauvinist slot and going behind MR and as a result let itself split in three.
          I do not think that memories are fresh about 1987-88, and 1971 is lost in public memory.
          If people have forgotten the 17 years of UNP misrule, what stops them from forgetting the JVP episodes.
          It has yet to come up with a credible political-economic programme. Ad that seems the problem to me.

  • 10
    13

    Tamil elderly men and women who, at the end of war, obeyed to the Order of Srilankan Army and handed over their family members to them for enquiry are still awaiting to know their fate. Up to now Army/ Govt has failed to show even the Register where names of arrested/ surrendered youths were written down. Years have passed and their continuous protests in Kilinochchi Vavuniya and Batticaloa are unheeded by the politicians in power and opposition. Politicians who passes through Vavuniya don’t even care to get down from their vehicles to meet those hapless persons and say a word of comfort to them. Anura, leader of NPP, is no exception.

  • 10
    1

    It’s indeed crucial to acknowledge the progress a country makes under leadership, regardless of personal feelings toward the leader.
    Ranil Wickremesinghe’s leadership has definitely played a undeniable role in Sri Lanka’s economic recovery and stability.
    Therefore, it’s also important for voters to assess all aspects of a candidate’s platform and character before making decisions at the polls.
    Emotion should be balanced with critical thinking and consideration of the long-term impact of their choice on the country’s well-being.
    If we change the current positive trajectory of the country by choosing a wrong leader, it could send us spiraling down again.

  • 1
    0

    In an ideal world, this election would have been a no brainer for the NPP. In Sri Lanka however, there is a tendency among the bourgeoisie to nitpick citing language, experience etc., How could one even contemplate re-electing a set of ‘politicians’ who have continuously mismanaged this country for over seven decades culminating in bankruptcy?

    The vote at the upcoming elections will be a make or break one for all Sri Lankans. The choice is between the suit and tie wearing robber barons who have destroyed everything we have held sacred as a nation, and a group of relatively younger men and women who promise to make a meaningful change – one that the whole country is crying out for.

  • 1
    0

    “AKD as President with either the UNP or SJB with a new leadership, which would be prepared to shed the deadwood & the undesirables in favour of educated people with integrity.”
    This would be IDEAL solution for SL. The EDUCATED , Cultured, honest politicians + Civil servants[minorities included] could be the HEADS of greatly reduced numbers of ministries. We need an urgent shake of the Ministry of Defence & Judiciary. The Clergy should PLAY no role in the Politics and should not whip up Racial or Religious HATREDS.

    • 1
      0

      Naman

      Glad you are in agreement but it’s not an ideal world, although, we can live in hope

  • 2
    1

    The Political discussion should include all political groupings to put forward a NEW constitution for SL.
    It should include ALL the wishes of those who took part in the ARAGALAYA 2022.

    • 1
      0

      “It should include ALL the wishes of those who took part in the ARAGALAYA 2022.”
      Can we be more specific?

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