29 November, 2020

Blog

PM & President Offer Fool’s Paradise Instead Of Facing Up To Covid-19 Realities 

By Rajan Philips

Rajan Philips

The Prime Minister’s budget speech last Tuesday and the President’s address to the nation the next day are both remarkable for their omissions to share with the people the government’s thinking and planning for dealing with the pandemic crisis that Sri Lanka is now going through along with the rest of the world. The budget speech tried to pretend a business as usual present scenario and routinely optimistic future prospects. It said little about Covid-19 and the government’s plans to deal with it. If anyone thought that the (Covid-19) matter was left to be addressed by the President himself in his talk the next day, that was not to be. The President covered every political base (in baseball parlance) in his short political career but barely touched the topic of Covid-19. Why this reluctance to frankly talk about Covid-19? 

There is no point in denying or trying to hide the formidable challenges posed by Covid-19 and the difficulties that the government of Sri Lanka and the country as a whole are having in dealing with those challenges? No one is expecting the government to come up with a magical national response to the global pandemic. But it is reasonable to have expected that either the President or the Prime Minister would use their national pulpit to apprise the people of the gravity of the situation and the challenges of navigating through it. Nothing of the kind.

Neighbouring South Asian governments have been more transparent about the coronavirus in their budgets and economic statements. Pakistan and Bangladesh presented their current budgets in June 2020. Neither of them was shy about mentioning Covid-19. In fact, Pakistan called its budget the “corona budget.” Although criticized by the two opposition parties (PML-N and PPP), the Imran Khan government increased the allocation to the health sector to $156 M (130% increase from 2019), with 90% of it going to hospitals to deal with the Covid-19 crisis. 

In Bangladesh, the budget confirmed that sufficient funds have been allocated to meet the needs of all ministries to deal with the impact of Covid-19, while increasing the allocation to the health sector. From what was once ‘an economic basket case’, Bangladesh is now among the world’s fastest growing economies with a higher GDP than Pakistan despite having 60 million fewer people (161 M and 221 M). From a high growth rate of 8.2%, Bangladesh is now set to grow at still impressive 5.2% owing to Covid-19.

India finished its budget in February before the pandemic outbreak. But it has since consistently intervened with financial stimuli at both central and state levels. A week before Sri Lanka’s budget, India announced two stimulus packages totaling $60 billion, topping up the $266 billion package from May, for a total 12% of GDP. India has also heavily invested in vaccine development for Covid-19 by the government’s biotechnology development. Both Pakistan and Bangladesh have also provided significant stimuli packages to soften Covid-19 fallouts.

For Sri Lanka, in the face of bleak predictions by the Central Bank, the IMF, the ADB and the World Bank that the economy will shrink anywhere between -1.7% to -6.3%, the budget presents wishful optimism of a 5.5% positive growth in 2021. It is as if there is no Covid-19. And this when Covid-19 case total exceeded 19,000 last week after being stable under 4,000 till October 4, and the death toll now exceeds after being under 20 in October. 

Rewired Thinking

There appears to be no mention in the budget of any Covid-19 related support, stimulus, or expenditure. The President in his speech referred to the allowance of Rs. 5,000 paid twice to 5.9 M families (total of Rs. 59,000 M, less than 0.5% GDP), and another $70 M for Corona-related expenditure. But nothing about future Covid-19 expenditures in either speech. Admittedly, Sri Lanka does not have too much money to spend on anything. That is all the reason why the government should use any and every opportunity to level with the people and tell them without holding back anything – where the government and the country are under Covid19, and what the government is planning to do about it. Are not budgets  occasions meant for such purpose? And when else if not in a global pandemic situation?

The apparent thinking behind the budget has been revealed by Nivard Cabraal, the long-titled State Minister, in a post-budget seminar. As reported in Daily FT, the Minister has announced that the government “could have said it’s a COVID-19 year and looked at austerity measures, but it is not the right moment to do that;” instead, the government opted to be “bullish about growth and (by) tap(ping) into the rewiring of the global economy caused by COVID-19.” This is the only way, according to the Minister, for Sri Lanka to break out of long struggle with “persistently slow growth.” 

The Daily FT report also carries the views expressed by Dr. Dushni Weerakoon (Executive Director, Institute of Policy Studies) at the same seminar, but unfortunately not at the same length offered to Cabraal. Dr. Weerakoon is quoted as having “warned (that) the Government could struggle to balance low interest rates with a high budget deficit as well as aim for high growth while fighting a pandemic.” More so, “if COVID-19 infections rise and the Government has to provide more public support in social spending.” This would make debt sustainability and deficit management problematic. 

It is mystifying that Mr. Cabraal would suggest that a Covid-19 budget would have involved austerity measures. On the contrary, the debate over Covid-19 economic response is not about austerity measures but about the extent of stimulus measures that governments should be prepared to administer. It is also not quite explicable how the government would tap into the “rewiring of the global economy caused by COVID-19” – whatever Cabraal means by rewiring. The budget offers no specifics about this ‘rewiring’, or how any or all of the budget proposals would be linked to the supposedly rewired global (demand) opportunities. Looked at it another way, the very non-austere budget that has been presented, is wired to spend in all the wrong areas for all the wrong reasons, at a time when Covid-19 has removed all ambiguities as to whom and where government spending should be targeted.        

SJB MP Harsha de Silva, who opened the budget debate for the Opposition could not have hoped for an easier target to attack. As he summed it up, the budget would neither kick-start the economy, nor provide relief to the people burdened by Covid-19 economic hardships. Quite rightly, he questioned the allocation of Rs. 330 billion for highways, as if building roads would help suffering businesses and starving people. The allocation, rather misallocation, for highways is also an instance of inappropriate assumptions for economic growth in the current pandemic situation. 

Funnily enough, Archaeological and Cultural Heritage Presidential Task Force is given its allocation in the budget speech between Tourism and Foreign Employment. The assumptions (of prospects) for the future of tourism are not at all funny, however. The $10 billion industry is in serious trouble and cannot be salvaged in any significant way by promoting domestic tourism. The same goes for foreign employment, the cash-cow sector that used to have 1.5 million Sri Lankans employed abroad, mostly Middle East, and bring in $7 billion annually is now in dire straits. There is no discussion of the prospects, let alone projections, for the future of this sector and its broader socio-economic ramifications within Sri Lankan society. If it is the government’s wired thinking that 1.5 million Sri Lankans can be fitted into global rewiring, there is no indication of that thought process in the budget. 

Public Health

Under “Investment in Public Health,” the budget speaks somewhat unclearly “to the new reality would make it unavoidable to be engaged in the day to day activities of the people with the Corona pandemic.” It reports the global total of 55 million Covid-19 cases and 1.35 million deaths, but shies away from being transparent about the situation in Sri Lanka. And somehow an insurance fund will materialize to help Covid-19 victims with contributions from businesses who are also victims of Covid-19. Glaringly missing are any allocations for purposefully expanding the Public Health Services and related infrastructure to deal with the Covid-19 situation. Also missing are the government’s assessment of the current situation, its projections for the future, and its plans to obtain and administer whenever a Covid-19 vaccine (or vaccines) becomes available. These gaps are obviously the result of professional disengagement at the political level with the realities of Covid-19. 

As if to highlight the level of professional engagement in the government’s Covid-19 response, Health Minister Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi, who is sadly out of her depth in coping with Covid-19 response, said in parliament last Wednesday that former Health Services Director General (DGHS) Dr. Anil Jasinghe continues to attend COVID-19 meetings, even though he is now the Secretary to the Ministry of the Environment. Public Health was dealt a big blow when Dr. Jasinghe was kicked upstairs from Health to Environment, and now the Ministry of the Environment is minus its Secretary whenever Dr. Jasinghe is on Covid-19 calls. Why not move Dr. Jasinghe back to Health? 

Last Sunday, Dr. Tissa Vitarana, a former Director of the MRI, former Minister, and a current Nationalist MP, issued a statement entitled, “Community action can end the Covid-19 pandemic.” It is by far the best and the most comprehensive, if not the only, public health policy paper on the subject by anyone who is associated with the present government. There is no surprise that Dr. Vitarana was able to write this. What is surprising is that his thinking is not able to find any resonance at any level in this government.  

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Latest comments

  • 10
    4

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

    For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

    • 21
      3

      I know that Sinhala_Man is a reasonable and mild-mannered person. What could he have possibly said that would have got his comment censored by CT’s moderator? I gave him a ‘Thumbs Up’ sign anyway.

      • 6
        3

        Many thanks, Captain Morgan

        • 10
          1

          My Dear Sinhala Man, yours is polarising. Yours pen is much more powerful than appeared to be.
          :
          Please never think you are too old – having watched a YT Video of Ms Serasinghe (94 years) (Mother role of Yashorawaya weekly teledram), I felt, how intelligent our seniors have been.

    • 18
      2

      SM,
      I have no doubt- you may have added one another valuable comment.
      That is why we encouraged yours with our likes.

      • 10
        0

        S.M,
        Did you, like our friend Eagle the other day, post a link to one of those sites featuring sexual acrobatics ? By accident, of course.

        • 18
          0

          Dr.Rajan says that the budget seems to pretend that everything is normal, and days very little about Covid.
          Nothing strange there. It is ingrained into Sri Lankan culture to ignore problems or not talk about them. For instance, schoolchildren memorize which king built which tank a thousand years ago, but not which Buddhist monk murdered the Premier 50 years ago.
          Then, we are given to crowing about this PM’s wife being the world’s first woman PM, but neglect to add that, as a female, she couldn’t buy a bottle of attack. Even Shavendra Silva said yesterday that Covid was under control in Colombo while actually the city had its highest ever Covid death toll.
          What’s new then?

          • 10
            0

            old codger

            ” Even Shavendra Silva said yesterday that Covid was under control in Colombo while actually the city had its highest ever Covid death toll.”

            So we are catching up with China, Trump’s America, Brazil, ….. don’t you think we will soon become another major power?

            • 8
              0

              Native,
              I am sure some idiot will start crowing about that soon enough.

      • 9
        0

        “bullish about growth and (by) tap(ping) into the rewiring of the global economy caused by COVID-19.” This is the only way, according to the ( minister Nivard Cabral)
        This guy has always been into mumbo-jumbo .
        Currently, there is a boom on the stock market, for which he takes responsibility on social media. But how can this be ? Hotels are empty, but their shares go up. People are laid off, but even closed factories boom. This is just like the pump-and-dump operations of 2012, carried out by the same cabal that is now in power.

        • 9
          0

          To cap it all, health expenditure is reduced in the middle of the biggest pandemic in post independence history, but military spending is increased!

          • 5
            0

            OC
            Sorry, you have not got the hang of it.
            It is war against COVID-19 and the Sri Lankan Armed Forces are fighting it.
            So the cost of the entire operation is accommodated under the military budget.

            • 5
              0

              S.J,
              Are you suggesting that we need 300000 pots of holy water?

    • 4
      0

      et tu Sinhala_man?

  • 19
    2

    PM & President Offer Fool’s Paradise Instead Of Facing Up To Covid-19 Realities
    because Rajapakshes that they could play with the stupdi dominated srilankens on and on.
    .
    Muruththettuwe cheewaradhari led saffran clad would not care much about the nation but their perks. A week ago, Muruthettuwa shameless man was talking high about not tying PIRITHNOOLE whenever pohottuwa stray dogs visit him next. But in the birth day ceremony of Mahinda Rajapakshe aka MAFIA BOSS, a few days ago, this monk and all other forgotten what he explained the very same audience a week ago. So how absurdity of the nation was proved by Muruthettuwa Cheewaradharia once again.

  • 11
    2

    Don’t you worry Shavonda Silva will sort it out

    • 11
      1

      Rajash,
      .
      Srilanka is one of the few countries that COVID crisis is being handled by its triforces.
      :
      But saddest reality is, GOVT has not achieved it yet taking away the unncessary anxities from the people.

    • 14
      1

      Rajash

      “Don’t you worry Shavonda Silva will sort it out”

      By committing islandwide Genocide?

      • 5
        0

        Native Vedda: By committing islandwide Genocide?

        who knows Shevendra Silva may be thinking if there are no people to spread the virus or less people to spread the virus, it will go away.

        • 8
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          Rajash

          “who knows Shevendra Silva may be thinking if there are no people to spread the virus or less people to spread the virus, it will go away.”

          Will it go away if we stop testing/counting?

  • 2
    7

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

    For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

    • 9
      1

      Eagle Brain Dead Blind Eye

      What’s the matter with you we looking up to you for guidance, knowledge, …..

  • 6
    25

    Harsha is only a talker who can talk the talk ……………..
    This will not help al all.

    It was quite aparent that Harsha did not have a say in the the last government
    (bogas yahapalanaya).

    The government and the opposition should work together during a national crisis like the Covid 19 Pandemic.
    A national cabinet should be called immediately until the pandemic is over.

    • 10
      1

      Nonsense! Then no one will take the side of the people and all will be robbing the people. SJB must make maximum capital out of this to win the next election. That is called democracy. Gota regime failed. No need for others to join a failure.

    • 16
      0

      This I feel is a very unfair on Harsha. In the past I have tweeted Harsha on many occassions and varied matters when he was in the some what notorious Yahapalanaya outfit. That aside forming a national government with whom may I ask ,Whimpy Kid
      Besides there no need for it as SLPP has two thirds majority.
      What may be a good idea is to setup a task force comprising of all parties to tackle the menace Covid 19. The membership should be made on merits and not on party political alliances or side kicks of those in power

      Ps
      Hello CT I am a bit puzzled to note that Sinhala_ Man’s (SM) comment has been removed for whatever reason. It says something to do away with comment policy. While I will be the first to support editors of CT on this matter, yet intrigued as to why this is so .
      More often than not SM, in my humble view writes very sensble critigue comments
      May be that we all might not agree with all what has been said,but give the devil its due, I would say to the editorial board
      .I dare say that you have the right to say no to any contrariwise or hateful comments by the CT readership and contributors
      I am of the opinion that CT is big enough in their heart and soul to , atleast publish this comment here in. I must haste to say that , I have no axe to grind in whatsoever form

  • 27
    2

    The Rajapaksa brothers meticulously planned their return to power. Then they carried out their game plan with the assistance of their deep state and their agents in organized crime and organized religion. At election time they manipulated the electorate with the help of their power brokers, backroom dealmakers and the corrupt media. Their plan worked out beautifully. They came back to power. And all what they wanted to achieve during their third term was to fix their court cases, destroy their files, secure their ‘hard-earned’ assets and retire in glory, making way for their progenies. Everything was going smoothly. Then … … damn … some stupid little guy in Wuhan bought a small animal from a wet market and ate it. The whole thing started unraveling. Can reality get more absurd than this? Now everything looks bleak. Nobody knows what is going to be the final outcome of all this. See … you simply cannot make provision for every little detail – like the guy eating a small animal in Wuhan – in your master plan. Isn’t this what Buddha taught … that life is contingent, and devoid of any logic or meaning ?

    • 9
      0

      Ajay,
      .
      I dont think I could agree with you. Nobody needed to plan it meticulously, but srilanken people would get caught by the easy tricks being applied on them. Like for example that WATER snake carried a PITHATHAL PAHANA filled with relics was regarded as a truth by millions of people. Those people were the ones that voted for the idiots to return power.
      :
      Unfortunately, our people s tendency has always been not intelligent. They would get misled easily. If they would have been asked to eat COWDUNG for gaining fortune, they would do…

  • 23
    2

    Rajan Philips

    “There is no point in denying or trying to hide the formidable challenges posed by Covid-19 and the difficulties that the government of Sri Lanka and the country as a whole are having in dealing with those challenges?”

    Ordinary people on the street have already begun to wonder whether Shavendra, Kamal and other men in uniform are fit for the job. Both men have no grasp of the gravity of COVID 19. However both men regularly pat themselves on their back for defeating LTTE even though 11 years already past. These little islanders including the rulers have nothing else to be proud about.

    People should demand the sacking of these generals including their commander in chief who boasted he was a strongman. Pathetic.

    By the way only a few days ago Shavendra stated the total death from Corona was 5 persons, the same day media reported total number of death from Corona was 53.
    Once the person responsible for an important job finds it difficult to count properly it’s time for the people to kick him out.

    I am wondering whether he can be charged for negligence, or genocide (even one death is too many).

  • 28
    15

    What a stupid article. Government has focused on Corona and increased the defence budget to fight the sameway they fought the LTTE war. They are spending on armed forces to by drones to monitor the movement of Corona Virus, arms, ammunitions and kill the Corona virus or the affected people the way killed LTTE cadres and war affected people indiscriminately. That is how Sri Lanka will face Corona. No country need to tell us. We have our own methods not imported but indigenous methods.
    We will put suspected infected people in quarantine centers and get them infected and finish them off as we did for LTTE war.
    We will support through the armed forces giving them all the powers to move around and spread virus as we did with Zaharan to acquire arms and helped through intelligence officers even 45 minutes before suicide attack. We will finish his wife off saying that she is infected.
    No body need to tell us what to do
    Especially defeated LTTE supporters like Rajan Philip from Canada.
    If the world wants we can teach the whole world how to do this by having annual workshop on how to deal with Corona the same way we did about winning the war with LTTE by war crimes and crime against humanity.
    Our head of task force is a great guy who can molest a ministers daughter still be popular by threat.
    He can perform wonders with the help of thug of a President

    • 21
      2

      Yes we have our indigenous methods.
      ” We have our own methods not imported but indigenous methods.”
      Three tried and tested already and giving dubious results.
      1. Throwing charmed water of Eliyantha White, yielding better results if done in boxer shorts.
      2. Spraying Holy Water by helicopter and Chanting pirith for two days and night at Independence Hall.
      3. And to cap it all, reduce the Budget allocation for Health while increasing it for Defence and Highway construction.

    • 7
      1

      Dilshan,
      .
      Professor Tissa Witharana is the 86 year-old Governor of a Province: he’s with the government, but a man of Peace. Not “an LTTE supporter”.
      .
      Please locate his article and read it. A moderator had to remove my first comment because posting links is against rules.
      .
      Witharna is a son of Dr N.M. Perera’s sister. He is married to actress Irangani Serasinghe’s sister. Virology is his subject. Wikipedia tells you that.
      .
      Witharna tells you what we really need, and the cost of vaccines, etc. The drones could be used to locate political opponents of the government. Do you think that we can kill the virus inside the body of a Sinhalese person with a gun?
      .
      You know who I am. To be an LTTE supporter, I must at least be able to speak Tamil. I cannot.
      .
      At various times people like you have labelled Rajan Philips, Jeevan Hoole, etc as Tiger supporters. Please quote chapter and verse.
      .
      What you are sanctioning will very soon result in my being put in a white van and “disappeared”. I don’t want that, but I’m old, and I must die some day.

      • 11
        0

        Dear Sinhala-man

        Prof Tissa Vitharana is no longer a Governor.

        He was Governor, North Central Province after the Presidential Election and before the Parliamentary Election
        .
        Presently, he i s a national list MP without holding any Cabinet Portfolio.

        • 14
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          Not only Prof. Withrarana but many others that have expertise in Virology are deliberately ignored by Mahinda-Gota stupid politics. Ironically, that ballige puthas of GMOA stays mum. No strikes or anything as was the case under Good governance govt.
          :
          Now those who attack Good governance govt should be well aware of the facts, that Rajaakshes rascals did not care much about the people then, ask those GMOA murderers to abuse their power.
          :
          Very same GMOA is placed above in the society today as if people would believe that GMOA are the experts also in VIROLOGY and contagious disease control. Not a single of them come with the specilities in NEITHER virology nor in contagious disease control.

          • 14
            0

            Dilshan,
            From the number of downvotes you got, I can see that your humour is not appreciated by many people, even the usually sharp Sinhala Man.
            I suggest you write a long-winded explanation.

            • 7
              0

              I was indeed surprised that the sarcasm, more than the humour was lost to some.
              But it did get 18 “ups” whic was reasonably good.
              May be mislead by two sentences, taken out of context;
              “What a stupid article”
              “Especially defeated LTTE supporters like Rajan Philip from Canada.”
              ………..Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit but the highest form of intelligence” ………..wrote that connoisseur of wit, Oscar Wilde

              • 5
                0

                F
                Sarcasm, satire, parody, you name it, they are all lost on many who comment here, particularly cheerleaders for parochial interests.
                The only humor they recognize is rude name calling and vile abuse.

                • 6
                  0

                  Very well said, Mr.SJ.
                  Like in Horatio – even the ranks of Tuscany
                  Could scarce forbear to cheer. – such an observation.

                • 1
                  0

                  There are people worked hard to expel other CT commentators. Those hypocrites repartee demanded CT to edit all the comments they don’t like. Those hypocrites write others have diarrhea, gone mad & see psychiatrist. Those hypocrites challenge, if they cannot counter others comments, they will ridicule the comments. Those hypocrites cannot write their own name in English, but reply to others spelling errors only. They demanded CT to allow only two there lines of comments, not complete comments because they were thinking they are heroes, but only on writing sarcastic, ridiculing, quips.

                  1) Can you tell us if you too have done any of these?
                  2) Can you stop opportunistically attacking people? Sinhala_man is not my friend. But he knows what Dilshan, used to write here, like we all know what you write here.
                  3) Everybody has been watching how much you have convulsing to teach CT editing and work against free communication.
                  4) You try to labels others just their opinion. A man has right to write counter comments to anybody’s comments. A man has right to negatively rate a comment he/she feels so. That is free media. But beating and teaching them on what to do is the popular method of Deva Group paramilitary gang.
                  5) Don’t pretend you are only joking, after write all vilest.

        • 0
          1

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

          For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

          • 1
            1

            Oh, no, not again!

            • 3
              0

              S.M
              A safer way to post links is to spell them out. Eg, google.com is Google dot com..

              • 0
                1

                Thanks oc. Sound advice.
                .
                As far as I remember that is what I did. I may not have kept a copy- this is from my phone.
                .
                I thanked the many people who had referred to me and suggested that readers explore all material relating to Prof Vitharana and his late wife, including what’s on YouTube.
                .
                Yes, we’ve all got to be level-headed and ought not to be crying foul all the time. The moderators have a difficult job to do. Unless we’re careful this government will clamp down on all independent websites.

      • 10
        0

        Dear Sinhala Man
        I believe that Mr Dilshan’s clever sarcasm has been missed by many. The almost equal distribution of positive and negative responses to his post from the readership, attests to this.

      • 4
        2

        Dear SM,

        What happeene to our virologist – Ms SCP ?

        Today when the numbers go up as so far, s/he is made silent.

        Last updated: November 22, 2020, 20:03 GMT
        Sri Lanka
        Coronavirus Cases:
        20,171
        Deaths:
        87
        Recovered:
        14,069

        Then only the low lives would say, it is not stoppable because it is the second WAVE.

        But there are few island that are caught by SECOND wave, but ballige puthas never let that be recognized by local experts.

        I wonder why SRILANKEN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION or any other bodies stay in their long slumber yet today ?

        • 4
          0

          L.M,
          “wonder why SRILANKEN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION or any other bodies stay in their long slumber yet today ?”
          I hear they are too busy researching which brand of holy water Pavithra can use.

        • 2
          0

          That NEURO PEDIATRITIAN – Padeniya would not utter a single world against people s inhaling methods as one of the precautionary actions against COVID. Actualyl the kind of methos could speed up the process of tome 40% of srilanken lung patients with their allergies, being unable to breath in properly. Such patients would be the risk category to the COVID infections.
          But ballige putha PADENIYA is highly welcome by the govt and people yet today.

      • 3
        0

        S.M
        A safe way to post links is to spell them out. Eg, google.com is Google dot com.

    • 8
      0

      Dilshan. With drones you cannot “monitor the movement of Coronavirus”. You need microscopes.

  • 17
    1

    Covid19 follows the law of nature and not the dictates of anyone. Yesterday citizens living off Aluthmawatte came on the streets demanding attention despite police presence. In time to come similar incidents will prove that executive power is only in paper, if economy is not sufficiently revived.

    • 10
      0

      How true and fully endorsed.
      “Covid19 follows the law of nature and not the dictates of anyone.”
      And I would add the prayers and pirith of the believers, to be of no avail.
      Nature is a cyclic phenomenon.
      Actually Eastern Thought and Philosophy, has always been of One Entity – Nature – with every concept, Good and Evil or Beginning and End or Birth and Death, as one polar entity alternating between these concepts, and cyclic. Going unceasingly round and around a circle. On a linear projection of this circle, at right angles, one sees a pendulum vibrating top to bottom and again to the top, ad infinitum.
      This was the reason, may be, that Stephen Hawking, a foremost physicist, advanced the ‘No Boundary’ principle, like someone going round and around the Equator, unceasingly.

  • 8
    2

    Shavonda Silva and Kamal Gunartane are there with the gun to shoot and Kill COVID 19virus China is there to pump in money and take over projects Gota is hood in making false promises although the Economy is going on the downward trend

  • 2
    1

    I have a question to ask from the readers of CT.

    According to Rajan Philips,

    The population of Pakistan in 2018 was 221 M and Bangladesh was 161 M.

    When General Elections were held for the National Assembly of Pakistan in both wings of Pakistan – East and West in 1970

    Awami League of Sheikh Mugibur Rahman won 167 of the 169 seats allotted to East Pakistan in the National Assembly whereas Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, won 81 of 144 seats in West Pakistan and ended in crisis in Pakistan .

    169 Vs 144 ?

    How was that East Pakistan had more members than Wast Pakistan in 1970?
    .
    It was claimed that the population of East Pakistan was greater than West Pakistan in 1970.

    , Now the population Of Pakistan is 60 M more than that of Bangladesh

    How it is possible?

  • 3
    0

    The govenment and military should listen to the Medical experts and follow their instructions.

    • 5
      0

      Wimpy,

      We all knew that Rajaakshes would not listen to meritocratcy of this country. They are leaders, who misled the mindset and grabed the power.

      All is seen like to talking to walls TODAY, not many are satisifed them having taken the LEGAL system to their hands.

      That GMOA is according to them – the expert body for COVID 19 related updates. Not a single member of GMOA is believed to own expertise in virology.

      All these are like- THEIR white elephant projects like Mattala and Hambantota Harbour …. entire world criticised ballige puthas for letting the CHINESE to go for such projects. But all these projects were done without PROPER feasiblity activities.

  • 7
    0

    The government has made it mandatory for state employees and those who visit government institutions to register and scan a QR Code using their mobile phones.
    Sri Lanka, being a country where there are no privacy protection laws, making this requirement mandatory is a violation of people’s rights.
    There are other countries which have introduced similar QR Code systems or Apps to track people. Eg: UK, which has over 50,000 COVID-19 deaths. However, those countries have strict privacy laws and also using the App or the QR Code is voluntary.
    There is no guarantee that the ICTA will not misuse these data as there is no Data Protection Agency in Sri Lanka to monitor such activities. Given the history of Rajapaksas and their cohorts, anybody can make millions by selling personal data and/or misuse them for political purposes.

  • 8
    0

    Lengthy quarantine curfews will create long term food shortages and new poverty levels in Sri Lanka as most suffered are the millions of people who work in the informal sector depending on daily wages.
    The Budget-2021 has shown that the government has no concern about the hardships faced by low income people. They seem to be dragging their fake corona wave until the COVID-19 vaccine is available, for “obvious reasons.”

    • 5
      1

      Dear Champa,
      .
      What can we say today ? Is that not ” GOOD RIDDANCE ” ?
      .
      We warned them enough prior to Nov 2019.

      1) Those living in ME countries are thrown out of their house holds with some being treated as the last dirts as THROWN to DESERTs… however, Rajaakshes have paid the blind eye to the alarming appeals of the poor srilankens.
      .
      2) The same is with some living in ITALY, they are not treated well, however, if they want to return home – AVANGARDE company, being close to Rajaakshes charge them 4 to 5 lacks. When they are arriving in SL, they are brought to their own hotels not giving any choice for even affluent passengers. That is their strategies THAT were not overlooked by the very same people if lookin gback prior to 2015.
      :;:
      3) Now almost 90% of 6.9 mio of voters voted for CRIMINALS, are speechless. That pingutharayas led by Muruththettuwa CHeewaradhariya… continued the backlicking services.
      :

      • 2
        7

        leelagemalli
        Don’t worry about our Maha Sangha.
        We will handle Rajapaksas in our own way. But one thing for sure, Sinhalese Buddhists will never choose Pohottuwa or UNP/SJB/JVP, together or separately, ever again. If there isn’t anybody, they will boycott elections. Sinhalese are already aware of the situation.

        • 4
          2

          Champa

          “If there isn’t anybody, they will boycott elections.”

          I believe you know what you are typing about.
          So you want to let the Tamil and Muslim parties to form both the government and the opposition while you boycott the election.

          Are you a secret Demela Muslim?

          • 0
            5

            Keyboard Vedda
            What is the limit of your imagination, Keyboard? The sky, right?
            Don’t you know a certain percentage of voter turnout is need to validate any election?

        • 5
          1

          Champa,
          “But one thing for sure, Sinhalese Buddhists will never choose Pohottuwa or UNP/SJB/JVP, together or separately, ever again”
          They will, under different names. You don’t know your own people very well, do you ?

          • 2
            1

            Hey, old codger, I couldn’t reply to your question about “Paneture” and Calture” on Dutch-Ceylon maps. (Please refer to the article titled “India And Sri Lanka: Resolution Of Encroaching Indian Boats.”)
            Yes, the Dutch have mentioned Panadura as “Paneture” and Kalutara as “Calture.” I would like to know your opinion about them mentioning Sabaragamuwa as “Sofragam” on their maps.

            • 2
              0

              Champa,
              The answer is that the Europeans could not pronounce local place names. I don’t know if you are old enough to remember “Kaygalle” and “Kernygalle” which was some people called Legally and Kurunegala.
              Some people, like Eagle Eye, use misinterpreted Dutch labels like “Batakotte” for Vaddukodai as “proof” of Sinhala origin. The same applies in reverse to “Panature”. But still, you should look at the online Dutch Tombos for the names of people in places like Kalutara in Dutch times. Very educational.

              • 1
                0

                Sorry, a slip there:
                “Kaygalle” and “Kernygalle” which was what some people called Kegalle and Kurunegala”

            • 1
              1

              Champa

              “Yes, the Dutch have mentioned Panadura as “Paneture” and Kalutara as “Calture.”

              Similarly the English changed “Paththar Moolai” (Goldsmith Corner) to Battaramulla.

              You changed Vendakkai வெண்டைக்காய் (Okra) to බණ්ඩක්ක (Bandakka).
              Again very recently your Sinhala/Buddhist racist functionaries changed Kantharodai to Kadurugoda, (must be by a Godaya).

              Your well paid High Commissioner to UK made a big ha hoo about quiz which appeared in the Guardian and had it removed a few months ago. Its about the name Eelam. Recently the former Chief election commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya explained as to the historical meaning of the word Eelam. You not only have to educate yourself but also your stupid Diplomatic Corps.

              • 0
                0

                Keyboard Vedda
                “Paththar Moolai”, huh? I heard this for the first time.
                Who says “Paththar” means gold? A “Paththarai” is a workshop, isn’t it?
                It cannot be “Paththar Moolai”.
                The correct spellings should be “Puththar Moolai,” the meaning of which is the corner, where there is a statue of Lord Buddha. Most probably they were referring to the Buddhist temple in Battaramulla, which was built during the British period.
                Contrary to your assertion, “Battaramulla” is a pure Sinhala word which has derived from “Bath-thota-mulla,” the ferry dock (paaru thota) at the corner of the Diyawanna Oya, where the king’s cooks said to have received rice (Bath), which was then ferried to the palace (belonging to Seethawaka Rajasinghe, I guess).
                However, during the reign of King Parakramabahu VI (1412-1467), who was the first king of the Kotte Kingdom, the entire area (including the present day Battaramulla) has been called “Thataaga Gaama” (the village of pools of water), which later became “Thalangama.” The Thataaga-Gaama Wewa or the Thalangama Wewa has been built by King Parakramabahu VI.
                When the British has tried to name the entire area as “Thalangama” as was in the past, the Buddhists monks and the locals who preferred the name “Battaramulla” objected, forcing the British to retain the same.
                I am sure the Land Commissioner’s Dept. has all the records.

                • 0
                  0

                  Keyboard Vedda
                  “Kantharodai” – ohhh, this is the distorted Tamil name for our ancient Sinhala name “Kandurugoda,” right?
                  Ok, Keyboard, tell me the meaning of this Tamil word “Kantharodai” in English.
                  You know, Machang Keyboard Vedda, all our Sinhalese place names have meanings. Look at this.
                  The meaning of Sinhala word, “Kadurugoda” or most accurately “Kanduru-goda” is as follows:-
                  “Kanduru” (pronounced as kan-duru) means mountain or mound above the ground surface and,
                  “Goda” means lots of.
                  So, “Kanduru-goda” means lots of mounds.
                  It is obvious that a large number of mini-stupas in “Kandurugoda” has been seen as “lots of mounds” which are actually “ancient Buddhist burial mounds of Arhants!”
                  Can you do me a favour, Keyboard? Don’t bring up these names again, for every time I see distorted Sinhalese names in the North and East, I think “Neddakin, since independence, this country hasn’t been ruled by a true Sinhalese Buddhist, or else, all these distorted Sinhalese village names should have been restored.”

                  • 0
                    0

                    Keyboard Vedda
                    What is your problem with Bandakka?????
                    Different countries call it by different names such as; Okra, Ladies’ fingers, Sponge-fingers, Ethdala Bandakka or just Bandakka.
                    I do not think we got the name “Bandakka” from the Tamils, but it’s probably the other way around, since the Tamils have a difficulty in pronouncing the Sinhala letter “Ba” properly, they may have finally been satisfied by calling it “Va”ndakka!
                    However, I can die for Bandakka, if deep-fried Bandakkas are cooked with coriander+cumin powder in thick coconut milk and finally sprinkled with roasted curry powder.

                    • 0
                      0

                      Champa,
                      There is nothing demeaning in admitting that many Sinhala words are of foreign origin. In Sinhala, “bandakka ” has no meaning, but the “Ka” at the end , which means fruit or vegetable in Tamil, shows its origin. “Venkayam” ( onion) or “kattirikkai”(brinjal) are similarly constructed.
                      Similarly, “halapa” has no meaning in Sinhala but the original Malayalam “elayappam” means a pancake in a leaf.

                    • 0
                      0

                      old codger
                      Really? Then what about “Wattakka?” “Akka or Akkandi” is a Sinhala word.
                      Honestly, I don’t know the history of “Halapa,” but, I know we have “Hal flour” made out of “Hal fruits” which are endemic to Sri Lanka.
                      We make “Halapa” with one of our ancient grains, Kurakkan.
                      Other than that, since time immemorial, we have had “Thalapa” which is also made with Kurakkan.
                      “Thalapa” and “Halapa” nicely rhyme, aren’t they?

                    • 0
                      0

                      Champa,
                      The word “Ka” means fruit or vegetable in Tamil / Malayalam. Similarly, the endings “Kai” , “kayam”. Hence, “Pavakkai” for Karavila and “Vattakkai” for Wattakka. The last means “round vegetable ” .
                      Kurakkan is an ancient grain not only here but in South India. But in Kerala the “halapa” is made of rice flour in a banana leaf. Do you know there is kalu dodol in India too? But not in Jaffna, I believe. All of South India is not Tamil, you know.

        • 4
          1

          My dear CHAMPA with all respect to you..

          “””” But one thing for sure, Sinhalese Buddhists will never choose Pohottuwa or UNP/SJB/JVP, together or separately, ever again.”””””””

          Who are the others in the country, if afore mentioned would not be the focus of the people ?

          I think PEOPLE are to be blamed for all the mess today. No body is perfect, but GOOD GOVERNANCE govt was attacked for not valid reasons … that was a project RAJAPAKSHES to come back. Today, as if Gotabaya is seen a man kept in a cage, not giving him powers to act…. but if anyone with a bird brain would be clear, it is he who has shown his inabliities. This happens when STUPID media adulate some figures not having studied their ablities properly.

          Tomorrow, IF LOCAL MEDIA CHANNEL would announce that JULIAMPITIYA amaraya or the like high criminals would have been saints, PEOPLE would line up to welcome the news and even worship him. Society is made so that their myths and untruth could pave the way them to fooling the nation. It is all because then only RAJAPAKSHES or the like high criminals would be able to surive their political high crimes.

          • 2
            3

            leelagemalli
            Nope. Sinhalese are not that stupid as you mentioned in your last para.
            A highly admirable attempt to educate our people in all ages is quietly in the offing right now. Actually, these notable and extraordinary Sinhalese Buddhist individuals in various fields are said to have started it some time ago, which I think is slowly reaching its culmination. As if guided by invisible forces, they are educating people on,
            Buddhism,
            our accurate great history,
            the ancient Sinhalese civilization,
            archaeology,
            the meanings of academic Sinhalese words,
            Sinhalese medicinal system,
            our environment,
            agriculture,
            astrology,
            ancient Sinhalese medicinal foods, herbs and spices,
            correct food practices,
            the importance of being vegetarian,
            how to be respectful to the nature,
            Yoga (meditative asana to balance the mind and body),
            pranayama,
            dhyana,
            meditation,
            ancient Sinhalese martial arts, etc.
            As it should be, their journey is slow and steady. I have no words to commend their magnificent efforts.

        • 4
          1

          Champa,
          I have no more faith on SANGAYA of MURUTHTHERUTWA ananda him or that BP Maedagoda pissu hadaya…
          I fully stopped myslef kneeling beofre srilanken kind of pinguththarayas from 2016. I stop giving them alms anymore since some of the monks invited raised the questions about not having DRIED FISH for their meal and some asked me to offer them SMART phones instead of usual pirikara. Why should I offer them SMART phones … if they are monks.. instead I could give them to students that work hard for their future ?
          We should better work on getting a new version of MAHANWANSAYA by being adapated the truths. I really dont think that buddhagama would remain in this counry if ABUSIVE MONKS would only promote criminalism instead of buddhism in this country.
          .

          • 0
            6

            leelagemalli
            Ah, c’mon, leelagemalli, you are not a Sinhalese.

            • 2
              1

              Champa,
              .
              You can’t stipulate who a Sinhalese is, unless all that it means is “Sinhala-kama” – “Sinhaleseness”. That has little to do with historical facts.
              .
              Some of those ranged against us may prove too clever for us if we suggest boycotting the next election, which will be conducted by an Elections Commission subservient to the Rajapaksas.
              .
              Listen to the daily Youtubes of Sepal Amerasinghe. He knows more than most of his listeners, and impresses them, but he gets certain details wrong. I was thinking of writing (again!) to him, but then realised its futility.
              .
              He is now, once more, critical of the Rajapaksas, as he became just before the 5th of August Elections. He then began to preach “NOTA” – study link below.
              .
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/None_of_the_above
              .
              Now I see him having long jaws with Nagananda Kodituwakku, who is an honest man, but one who doesn’t listen. And I don’t now bother listening to all that crap.
              .
              Nagananda contested the Colombo District. Sepal lives in Bellanwila, Dehiwela. Why didn’t he canvass votes for Nagananda?
              .
              The JVP has stopped contesting. It made sense for me to vote NPP.
              .
              This is a grimly serious business.

            • 6
              1

              Champa, tell me what are typical characteristics of sinhalayas? If I bought Pinguththarayas smart phones , would u call me a sinhalaya? Is Sinhs man a non’ sinhalaya because he stands again Rajapakshe mlechcha politics? 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

            • 2
              1

              Champa

              Why does Jaffna police station HQI Prasath Fernando believe Pizza is far better and essential, ….. food than domestic cuisines like Pittu, Iddiappa with kiri hodi, Dosa, Appa, …..?

              Is he a dual citizen of Italy/Europe?

              • 0
                1

                NV,
                .
                Very good question Mr.

                I thank you for your bold comments.
                :
                I sometimes feel Champa behaves as if s/he is still in her puberty. Perhaps, she staganated in her person, not being able to see it right yet today. It took long her to see that Rajaakshes are mlechcha….

                There is nothing like BUDDHISM in the heads of srilanken monks, that makeup around 40 000 in numbers. Not for anything else, but to live up their fantasies only, they entered easy business – SANGAHOOD in Srilanka. THese men get almost everything free. Even smart phones, because they are kept above in the society by believing in a myth spread by unrevised MAHAWANSE.

                It is not Mahawansa that deteriorated the society, but THESE SO CALLED monks, not being able to distinquish the good from bad. That SOMA hamuduruwo was held WEERAYA because he sound so called PROXY Sinhalaya. I think he might have added some good bana preachings but mostly, the monks of that nature, so long they animate a society, racism would traverse through the society like an Xray would moves through hard objects.

                • 1
                  1

                  leelagemalli

                  “Perhaps, she staganated in her person, not being able to see it right yet today. “
                  You could say Arrested Development.

  • 3
    0

    I am saddened by the actions of SJB. SJB correctly identified the errors in the two sets of documents presented to all Parliamentarians the day before the debate which presented contradictory numbers. There was a massive amount of miscalculation as the “Puss Pundits” who work for this Government as slaves have cooked the books to show a better picture, this includes Nivard Cabraal who illegally transferred millions of dollars to USA for which a case is pending in US courts.

    After correctly identifying all the errors, omissions, cookups etc., SJB participated in voting against the Budget. In my opinion this is an error. What SJB should have done was to walk out of the Parliament when votes were called to show their oposition to side or oppose a cookedup document until the omissions, errors and cookups were corrected and presented again to the Parliamentarians.

    At times I wonder if SJB strategists know what they are doing!

  • 8
    1

    In that case Lanka will be the first to present a budget without considering the current pandemic. As mentioned by many here, all it means is Rajapaksas have no plans to control this pandemic nor the economic bankruptcy. But they have enough of more plans to revive the already dead national carrier, build bridges and highways , stadium, and built more cities from reclaimed land.(real estate is where foreign money is). This time around there is no stopping of brothers, Covid will keep altering according to their needs , at last they have found their “imaginative enemy”. No one can exploit the adversities as brothers do. Covid will help with more excuses, scapegoating, scare crow tactics, need of creating special laws, media suppression, limited mobility, more military in day to day administration, helps in diverting issues. All in all, a better allay than those inconsistent LTTE/ISIS, that to free of cost.

  • 2
    0

    Ajit Nivard Cabraal is in a hurry, mighty hurry to increase the per capita income of the citizenry. So, he has to look at the short term scenario.
    He reckons that by not allocating sufficient funds for the Health sector to manage Covid-19 he can increase the per capita income.
    Brilliant chap.
    So, this is what he means by Rewiring!

  • 1
    1

    Champa

    “A highly admirable attempt to educate our people in all ages is quietly in the offing right now.”

    However how did you miss the saffron clad thug ampitiye sumanarathana who is action:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQB3HHTJA5I
    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2883326808565801&id=1505176869714142&sfnsn=scwspwa

    Any chance he is the absentee father of Eagle Blind Eye and Wimal Weerawansa?

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