23 October, 2017

Preparing For Elections

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“An irrational form of political loyalty emerges that binds the beguiled victims to the beguiling political gaslighter”[i]. – Bryant Welch (State of Confusion)

Just days after the gala-opening of the Katunayake-Colombo expressway, a bridge on the Colombo-Avissawella Low Level Road[ii] partially collapsed.

Having announced its intention of surrounding the Ministry of Buddha Sasana, the BBS worthies had a change of heart and delivered a petition, walking decorously through the ring of riot-police protecting the military.

The first set of incidents reveals the tottering reality behind Sri Lanka’s glitzy infrastructural development. The second set of incidents demonstrates the sordid truth about the astronomical rise of violent Sinhala-Buddhist fundamentalism in Sri Lanka.

The ‘rationale’ behind Rajapaksa-economics can be gleaned from the Rajapaksa decision to hold the Commonwealth opening ceremony and the summit proper at two different venues. This splitting will cause costs to hike-up even more and create an unnecessary logistical and security nightmare. It will also exacerbate the hardships imposed on the citizenry (woe betide any ordinary mortal unintelligent enough to develop a medical emergency during the Commonwealth days).

But this insanely illogical decision makes perfect sense from a Rajapaksa perspective. The summit will take place, not in South Asia’s largest convention hall in Hambantota, as originally planned, but at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall. The delegates will arrive not at the Mattala Rajapaksa Airport but at Katunayake Bandaranaike Airport. Given this surfeit of the ‘Bandaranaike’ name, the Rajapaksas would have keenly felt the need for ameliorative measures. Thus, against all normal sense, the opening ceremony will happen at the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre[iii].

That is how decisions are made in this resplendent-isle.

The criminally and asininely juvenile nature of Rajapaksa thinking must be hidden from the Sinhala majority at all costs. The masses must be prevented from seeing the link between their socio-economic trials and travails and the egomaniacal activities of their rulers. They must continue to regard the Rajapaksas as necessary heroes and indispensable saviours.

Particularly since 2014 is destined to be an election year, with a presidential/parliamentary election.

The politico-electoral playing field was structurally tilted in Rajapaksa-favour with the 18th Amendment and the fraudulent impeachment. But the Siblings would not want to just win; they would want to win a landslide. Since the world is looking, they would want to obtain this massive victory with minimum levels of violence and rigging.

The best way to achieve this aim would be to get ‘people to consent to the state of affairs in which they are living… the state of servitude’[iv], as Aldous Huxley phrased it. So the Sinhala South must be befuddled with euphoria about non-existing developmental miracles and inflamed with paranoia about non-existing enemies.

The Rajapaksas are not economic populists of the Hugo Chavez/Evo Morales type. They are ethno-religious populists who scapegoat the various ‘Others’ to conceal their extremely anti-people agenda (rather like the American Tea Party leaders). Rajapaksa populism can be most accurately described in the following words of Noam Chomsky  “…the idea that they are taking our country away from us, poisoning our culture and society, stealing our hared-earned money, particularly salient now with a growing recognition that whites are becoming a minority…”[v]. Of course in Sri Lanka the Sinhalese are not becoming a minority; but that anti-factual myth too is being spread to intensify Sinhala-Buddhist fears.

Wole Soyinka points out that the use of religion as a mobilisation-tool can be deadly effective because “….all a man needs to be told is that this is a religious cause. All they need to be told is that this is an enemy of religion and they are ready to kill”[vi]. Sinhala-Buddhism encompasses both an ethnic and a religious identity; it can thus be used to inflame and befuddle the Southern-mind at two levels.

The Wahabist variety of Sinhala-Buddhist fundamentalism championed by the BBS et al provides the intolerant, ‘us or them’ approach of the Rajapaksas with a ‘religious cover-cum-rationale’. As Rev. Galagoda-Atte Gnanasara Thero stated, in justification of his new anti-Halal war, “This is not a time to meditate. This is a sick society. We need to act harshly to cure this society. We have to use strong words. We can’t be patient and wait until we are beheaded. The Buddha also stood for his community until he became enlightened”[vii].

This interpretation is a total distortion of what the Buddha taught. Little wonder that the regime is readying a bill to regulate Buddhism-related publications. The Vice President of the Sri Lanka Book Publishers Association has warned “that this act would be a severe blow to freedom of expression…. this Act could be used as a tool to suppress views conflicting with that of the government on this subject”.[viii] This way, children can be taught BBS-Buddhism in schools and temples sans contradiction/opposition.

And the future of Rajapaksa rule will be assured, at the cost of Sri Lanka and Sinhala-Buddhists.

Blinding Myths

Voltaire famously ridiculed those societies which unquestioningly and uncritically accept colourfully apocryphal as historical facts: “Fabius Pictor relates, that, several ages before him, a vestal of the town of Alba, going to draw water in her pitcher, was violated, that she was delivered of Romulus and Remus, that they were nourished by a she-wolf. The Roman people believed this fable; they examined not whether at that time there were vestals in Latium; whether it was likely that the daughter of a king should go out of her convent with a pitcher, or whether it was probable that a she-wolf should suckle two children, instead of eating them: prejudice established it.”[ix]

The Rajapaksas have their own myths, about politics, about economics, about governance.

Take, for example, that psychological corollary of militarization, the belief that militarization is necessary, good – and cost-free. The militarization of the economy is being justified as a boon because it ‘saves public funds’. This specious argument ignores that far greater amounts of public-funds are being spent on maintaining a gargantuan military totally apposite with peacetime needs.

People must be prevented from realising such uncomfortable and inconvenient truths. Organisations such as the BBS play an important role in this process of public-stupefaction by demanding that Defence Ministry should take over the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and the Department of Archaeology.

Another example is the correlation between the regime’s glitzy projects and people’s woes.

Some months ago the opposition revealed in parliament that the government levies a Rs.25-tax on a kilo of dhal and a Rs.75-tax on a kilo of dried fish[x]. “Efforts to determine whether water in Dorape, Galle, had become polluted by toxins allegedly emanating from a factory in the area have stalled for almost a month due to lack of funds”[xi]. The amount needed is Rs. 250,000! Meanwhile the government has spent Rs.15 million to create a website for the Commonwealth.

The costs of Commonwealth-binge will be met partially by imposing more indirect taxes on the people (the opening ceremony alone will cost Rs.50 million[xii]). That would be one reason to expedite elections (other would be astrological).

Once elections are over, the regime can resume its economic war on the people while inciting the Sinhalese to make war on Tamils/Muslims/Christians.



[i] “Gaslighting is a type of projective identification in which an individual (or a group of individuals) attempt to influence the mental functioning of a second individual by causing the latter to doubt the validity of his/her judgements, perceptions and/or reality testing in order that the victim will more readily submit his will and person to the victimizer… Gaslighting is an important aspect in many of the brainwashing and indoctrination techniques…” (Gaslighting, the Double Whammy, Interrogation and Other Methods of Covert Control in Psychotherapy and Analysis – Theo L Dorpat

[ii] This is a key access road to Colombo. According to some news reports the bridge was newly built.

[iii] An e mail with the Commonwealth schedule is reproduced for the information of readers in Sri Lanka
1.   12th, 13th & 14th November – Head of the states will arrive, below routes will be closed from time to time based on their movements.

From Katu Highway to Kelaniya Bridge
Baseline Road from Kelaniya Bridge to Borella Cemetery Junction
Bauddhaloka Mawatha to Thummulla Junction
From Thummulla Junction to Bambalapitya Junction
From Bambalapitiya Junc on Galle Road to the Hotels

No advance timings of the closure will be given due to security reasons.

Some Private Jets of the Heads of State will land at the Ratmalana Airport. So that whole stretch on Galle Road to colombo will be closed without warning from time to time

15th November The opening  Ceremony at Nelum Pokuna. This has been declared a National Holiday as most roads will be closed.

Event Calendar

Pre-CHOGM FMs’ meeting
13-14 November 2013
Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Colombo

CMAG meeting on Harare Declaration
13 November 2013
BMICH, Colombo

Pre-CHOGM Media briefing
13 November 2013
BMICH, Colombo

Daily CHOGM Press conferences
14-17 November 2013
BMICH, Colombo

Foreign Ministers’ spouse programme
13-16 November 2013
Colombo, Galle, Kandy
Heads of Governments’ spouse programme
15-16 November 2013
Colombo, Kandy

Commonwealth Youth Forum
10-14 November 2013
International Convention Centre, Hambantota

Commonwealth Business Forum
12-14 November 2013
Cinnamon Grand, Colombo

Commonwealth People’s Forum
10-14 November 2013
Chaya Tranz, Hikkaduwa

CHOGM 2013 Week
10-17 November 2013
Colombo, Hikkaduwa, Hambantota

CHOGM 2013 Opening Ceremony
15 November 2013
Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre, Colombo

CHOGM Main meeting: Executive Sessions/Retreat/Bilateral meetings
15-17 November 2013
BMICH/Waters Edge, Colombo

Youth Dialogue
15 November 2013
BMICH, Colombo

Civil Society Roundtable
14 November 2013
BMICH, Colombo

Commonwealth Games Federation Sports Breakfast
16 November 2013
Waters Edge, Colombo

Concluding Press Conference
17 November 2013
BMICH, Colombo

[iv] The Ultimate Revolution

[v] Hopes and Prospects

[ix] Philosophical Dictionaries

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    I agree with my boss, His Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa the military genius and author of the epic bestseller “Gota’s War” and his dear brother the Supreme Leader and President, His Royal Highness Mahinda Rajapaksa. Their vision for our great nation will be achieved by our humanitarian army who should be used like pawns on a chess board to vanquish all internal and external enemies. All minorities must be made to submit to the majority master race. Male minorities who go against the dik tats of the Romulus and Remus of Sri Lanka should be made to vanish via white vans while female minorities should be raped and humanitarianly dispatched like Issipriya. Sri Lanka should be made into a military state like Sparta and for it to become the wonder of Asia the country will have to follow the North Korean model where one family rules the country (hereditary dictatorship)with the help of the best army in the universe. In time our country needs to acquire nuclear capabilities and pre-emptive nuclear strikes launched on any country that tries to bully us into respecting and protecting human rights. Long live our great leaders and death to the likes of Tissaranee and other western stooges.

    • 0
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      After the COCKOGOM Carnival,
      We will make another Price hike of petrol and diesel, to manipulate the Expenses.

      If any body, who ask for the Monetary expense will be sent to Jaffna Haturusigho co,
      to collect all the Steel skeletons to send to Colombo, by containers,
      for our dealers and money will be change to dollars and send to off shore banks for our family use.

      If any more voices make they will be float with acid tubs.

      SO BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU PLAY WITH KILLER JARAPASSA GANG.

      • 0
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        There’s nothing to prepare for elections.In fact Rajapakse doesn’t need any friends,when he has enemies in the caliber of the UNP,defeated Tamil terrorists living abroad,journalists such as Thisaranee,Dharisha,so called HR activists such as Paki,Nimalka etc,crooked Tamil Nadu politicians,foreigners who are in the pay off of the defeated Tamil terrorists,and so called HR NGOs.Rajapakse is very lucky to have such wonderful enemies!

        • 0
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          what are you trying to say? are you paid by the number post you made irrespective of the content?

          • 0
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            You ask Javi.

            • 0
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              (゜゜)~ “You ask Javi.”

              Max vol, “Camembert”,

              I can’t stand whining.

              You are once again haunted by a parrot.

              Oooo’s a pretty boy then? ~゜k・_・k゜~ 


              0:3

        • 0
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          Max Silva aka Jim Softy/K.A. Sumanasekera/Leela etc?

        • 0
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          Max,
          Be honest and tell me please.
          Doesnt MR looks like he is gonna kick the bucket any day soon?

      • 0
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        Great Stuff Keep it coming Thisaranee and would you please also give us a good solid post-colonial critic of the BRITISH COLONIALISM celebration PARTY that Rajpassa is hosting in Colombo at huge cost – and BANKRUPTING the country..
        Seems the more irrelevant the Commonwealth of Clowns the more extravagant the SHOW and SECURITY!
        Rajapassa has turned CHOGM it into a massive security operation, and ego boosting exercise while his brother Gota the Goon’s military has destroyed Colombo’s tree canopy in the name of security for the CHOGM clowns!
        No one has made a proper critic of the CHOGM Commonwealth of Nations and its (ir)relevance today. They are all going along with the Rajpassa party to celebrate British Imperialism and third world dictators.
        Why are the Sri Lanka Trade Unions and the Left nationalists not protesting the British Colonialism Party to celebrate third world dictators in Colombo? CHOGM is a huge waste of funds to boost the Rajapassa dictatorship and should be SHUT DOWN.
        The Silence of Pathala Champika and Wimal Balu Wansa who constantly attack British colonialism and minorities who collaborated with the imperialists by speaking the English Language – re. colonialism and the funds spent to white wash it is also a bit puzzling..
        Clearly Rajapassa brothers despite all their hot air about “home grown solutions” suffer from a huge INFERIORITY COMPLEX to be running behind the Commonwealth of Clowns to celebrate British Colonialism!

  • 0
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    What is the magical thing the Strong man is carrying in one of his hands?

    Is it something to ward off the evil?

    He is also trying to pull up the national shirt as if it were his sarong!

    • 0
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      It could possibly be cyanide capsules to be shared equally among the siblings in case a Gaddafi-style revolution takes place??

    • 0
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      It’s something designed to prevent a situation that may require evasive action – it’s designed to protect, and is called a “vajra”. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vajra

      • 0
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        He may be carrying it all the time, even when he has to attend a call of nature!

        • 0
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          How does he wipe his arse then? If he is carrying this thing in his hand? Or does he wash his bottom or wipe ? He is Sinhala not sudha so must wash his arse?? So how can he do it with this magic wand in his hand all the time?

  • 0
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    Sinhala-Buddhists have rejected BBS, NFF & JHU in the most recent provincial elections. Not a single candidate won. Lankans are smart and will deliver the right verdict in the next election provided there is a credible alternative (like the people of the North). As this article identifies the ills of the current situation, so does the people silently realising what needs to be done. The only missing big piece in the puzzle is a credible opposition among Sinhala-Buddhists. People need an alternative to support (in the South of the country). More should be said about the lack of an alternative for the people of Lanka. The Sinhala opposition is weak and nonexistent. We need a fresh approach in providing a credible alternative to the present regime.

    • 0
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      @Impartial Observer,

      the purpose of BBS to against muslim, catholics and get more & more budhist votes and the Rajapakse plan is working. They are getting even more majority in elections.

      There won’t be any opposition left. whatever comes up will be broken and cannabalised by MR with money, power and positions.

      We are going to have a gadaffi, a mugabe, a chavez ruling foerver. be prepared.

    • 0
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      “Sinhala-Buddhists have rejected BBS, NFF & JHU in the most recent provincial elections.”

      OK, if that is so why was the Hindu Temple in Dambula completely destroyed recently and nobody condemns it except the Tamil parties.

      Similarly Muslim Mosques and Christian Churches are damaged, vandalized or destroyed and Sinhalese keep quiet.

      Why is that Sinhala parties who claim to be national parties don’t say a word to condemn these anti-minority actions?

      Only when Sinhalese are threatened by the junta they protest vehemently. One can see the apathy of the Sinhalese community towards the minorities if not hostility.

      Why do the Sinhala soldiers sexually abuse Tamil women in the North and East?

      There is an inherent hatred of the minorities; that’s the picture one gets.

      • 0
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        Sri Lankan Democracy (mob rule) means majority by the sheer strength of more people, denying the minority basic human values such as the right to practice their faith peacefully and claiming holy land status to a philosophy that came from India/Nepal and thus destroying places of worship at will.

  • 0
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    Rajapakse will hold the some provincial council elections.
    Then he will hold the presidential election before the general election.

    MR had cannibalized all opposition parties including UNP. There won’t be anybody to come even close to MR. He will win the prez election landslide. all medias under MR regime. they 24×7 bash Ranil & UNP.
    Bodu Bala Sena, Ravana balawega would antagonise muslim, catholics and MR will get all the buddhist votes. With over 70% buddhist voters what he needs is just 51% of buddhist votes to win.

    With 18
    Ammendment MR will contest until he he reaches 90’s. Then Namal will take over.

    Once the presidential election is won by MR the general election will be a cake walk for Rajapakses.

    Sri Lanka had become the Rajapakistan.

  • 0
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    Apparently the writer has no or little knowledge of Imam Muhammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab and his books written on the subject of ‘Shirk’ attaching partners to Allah.

    It is a fallacy to believe that the Sri Lankan Muslims are influenced with what is native or tribal to Saudi Arabia. Every practising Muslims knows and follows the Noble Quran and the authentic sunnah (way) of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) and as for Imam Muhammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab, those who inject periodic poison to the minds of the readers by ‘labeling’ Muslims as Wahabis / Tableeqis or whatever. Any group who steps out of Islam’s fundamental or core values cannot be called Muslims. Sects are formed and divided along the lines of Nationalism and Political ideologies. The ignorant; just blame Wahhabi without knowing the Islamic scholar Muhammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab’s contribution to Islamic principles. Those who follow the explanations of these Islamic scholar’s are ‘Just Muslims’. One of the beauties of Islam is the diverse groups who follow the methodology of their chosen Imams. Every Imam / Scholar takes on a specific fundamental or core value as a theme to strive for perfection. Example the Sufi Imams on Zikr (remembrance), Tawheedi on Shirk (associating partners) Tableeqi on Dawah (preaching), All these groups may have faults, built in ignorance or some even might take it to the extremes, however who are we to judge them other than the One who created us.

    All these confusions and irregularities will be sorted out at the ‘Day of Reckoning’ Islam is perfect however people are not.

    Muhammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab made every effort to purify Islam by returning Muslims to the original principles of Islam, as exemplified by the Salaf (Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) First and Second Generation in Arabia) and rejecting what was regarded as corruptions introduced by Bid’ah (Innovation of new practices) and Shirk (Attributing Partners). Although all Muslims pray to one God, Muhammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab was keen on emphasising that no intercession with God was possible without God’s permission, which God only grants to whom He wills and only to benefit those whom He wills, certainly not the ones who invoke anything or anyone except Him, as these would never be forgiven.

    • 0
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      There is nothing at all ‘noble’ about the Koran. It is a short book ,unlike the Bible, and every non-Muslim should read it to know what cruelty and viciousness it contains.

      http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/index.htm

      • 0
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        Millions know the Noble Quran by heart and many non Muslims scholars have testified for centuries that the Noble Quran cannot be the work of any human being. 1.9 billion Muslims around the world will confirm it. The Noble Quran calls out to the intellect of the intelligent

      • 0
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        Quran is most most read book on eath.

        The bible has been written/re-written, edited to suit different interest parties. It is not the revealed gospel.

  • 0
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    Opening Ceremony at Nelum Pokuna.

    Talk Fest at the BMICH.

    How sweet !!.

    Will the British PM thank the People of China for their generosity to gift these marvellous facilities to the poor old colonies, so that the Colonialists can hold these world summits and advise the ex subjects how to obey their new rules and regulations?.

  • 0
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    great Article and its impressive to see that someone has the guts to say what’s true.

    But never underestimate the power of large groups of STUPID people.
    Sri Lanka has 20 million uneducated peasants voting for a bunch of equally uneducated thugs, drug dealer and petite thieves.

    its upto the people to realize that dubious characters will only bring corruption and anarchy. until that happens SL is pretty much at the mercy of these goons……

  • 0
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    THSARANIE! Shame on you thisaranie. It just not worth having that beautul name for a coward woman like you! [Edited out]

  • 0
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    Impartial Observer and others

    So when are you going to grow out of you religious ethnic baby hood nnd mature to be a Sri Lankan.”

    You cannot expect others to do what you are unable to do.

    Levi

  • 0
    0

    Point of View

    The bible has been written/re-written, edited to suit different interest parties. It is not the revealed gospe.

    After all one of the rewritted version is the Quaran. It accepts the old Testament as its backup history.

    Levi.

  • 0
    0

    Maghribi

    “Millions know the Noble Quran by heart and many non Muslims scholars have testified for centuries that the Noble Quran cannot be the work of any human being. 1.9 billion Muslims around the world will confirm it. The Noble Quran calls out to the intellect of the intelligent”

    Why don’t you uncover the cloth covering the Kaaba The Rock that Came to Desert by Miracle to inspect the inscriptions thereon. It Can Have some divine message from Some South Indian Conqueror. This can be enlightening the third Millennium.

    Also at the Same time try an do an archeological investigations into the basement of Taj Mahal. Their can be some hidden religious secrets meant for the new Millennium.

    levi

    • 0
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      World Muslim population is not 1.9 billion. It is around about 1.4 billion.

  • 0
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    Lkcricket

    Please attend the coaching class from Muralee. He will teach you how to spin.

    Mr learnt his spinning from him an manged Catch the CJ 43 with slip placed strategically. He has sent in the new batsman to bat CJ44 in favour of the fielding team by getting them run out.

    Play Cricket with out wicket, Umpire and match referee.

    Keep up your writing you are doing great. Beware of Doorsa from MR with Gota ever ready to take the catch.

    Levi

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