21 September, 2020

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Presidential Election, Tamils And Sedatives

By S. Sivathasan

S. Sivathasan

S. Sivathasan

They may have studied a thousand epics, but have failed to fathom the deep recesses of the poet’s mind” – Bharathi.

For anyone, whatever be the country, an election is quite demanding. It requires a study of issues and a good assessment of the principal contenders. Qualities of diligence and judicious judgment are called for from the voters. In Sri Lanka at this point of time, when issues of life and death seek examination and decision, the exercise needs far greater effort.

For eighty years and more we Tamils placed ourselves between the hammer and the anvil. In 2009 we were beaten to pulp. Yet the community demonstrated its resilience for resurgence. But failing to garner the benefit from this remarkable quality, a category of thinking, though insignificant and miniscule seeks to lead some people astray. They show the thoughtless path called BOYCOTT. On those of a sterner frame challenges sit lightly and make survival less difficult. To those traumatized for long by the travails of war, least resistance is an easier option. What is strange, those who have suffered most adversely are poised for resistance. It is the spurious interlopers who run for the comfort zone.

Sampandan - ColombotelegraphIt is a senseless group identified by the Tamils as incapable of even following, leave aside leading, that is marketing Boycott. It calls itself Tamil National People’s Front, which in 2010 was decisively defeated and cast away with disgust. Unable to regain traction or territory it dreads the people’s endorsement of the TNA position and by extension total acceptance of the TNA itself. Therefore at the Presidential Election, it takes to this course with motives that are sinister and dastardly.

Karl Marx said quite succinctly, “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature… It is the opium of the people”. Tamils have gone through pogroms and oppression from 1956. Prolonged war, military occupation and constant surveillance have made life a daily grind. Their minds are now fertile soil for ideas incompatible with the demands of our times. When our capacity to meet challenges is seen as inadequate, a philosophy of inaction throws its grip around. ‘Does it matter whether Rama rules or Ravana rules’?

The typical Tamilian stance is not a mere expression of cynicism. It conveys colossal ignorance. Is it correct to say that there was no difference between Deng Xiao Ping and the ‘Gang of Four’? Did anybody assert that Clinton was no different from Bush Jr.? Americans saw a world of difference between Obama and a Republican. Those who were more alert manifested their intelligence and political maturity. When an opportunity opens, it is for us to prepare for change instead of waiting for a plateful of solutions. The course of BOYCOTT can lead us only to the grave as was done in 2005.

“Summa Iru”, Just be, said Yogar Swami. Whatever the understanding or interpretation, when it is grafted into our consciousness, we do not respond to the call of duty, personal or social. These lines from the Gita are oft quoted by Tamils after 2009:

“Whatever happened, it happened well

Whatever is happening, it is happening well

Whatever will happen, it will also happen well

The writer tried to relate the first line to MulliVaaikkaal, the second to Northern Province and the third to Tamils of Sri Lanka. He was unable to reconcile thought with reality.

Quotes from religious texts and lines from literature are often used inappropriately, to salve a troubled conscience or to philosophize dereliction of responsibility. They intervene like a sieve to convert a merciless shower into a tender spray. So far so good, when they are an analgesic to reduce pain. They wreak havoc when they are branded as BOYCOTT and marketed differently to suit the occasion. The Jaffna Boycott of 1931 served no purpose and was repudiated shortly thereafter, by the very people who parented it. The Tamil Boycott of 2005, changed the course of history, most adversely to the Tamils, defeating the very purpose it was designed to promote. Very unfortunately we have resigned ourselves to morbid fatalism.

To this day this stupid course of ease and inaction is advanced as some viable political philosophy. Impotence and imbecility are rolled into one and sold as a political instrument to supposedly hurt the enemy. The originators do not even realise that terror tactics are needed to make it work. Do they really think that their mere words are enough to strike terror? This is not the last time this issue is discussed. For many more decades this senseless debate will continue. Our stagnation in the political mire is heartrendingly prolonged.

A century ago, Subramania Bharathi composed these lines in anguish and exasperation:

“What shall I say and how shall I express? My heart can only burn for them”.

“Oh malign fate, In your design what malevolence are you thinking of for the Tamils”?

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Latest comments

  • 10
    2

    For those Tamils who are still not convinced the need for voting at this election, please consider exercising your democratic right to register a ‘protest vote.’

    The LTTE plundered many opportunities to find a political solution, hence, military action became inevitable against the LTTE. But this military operation should never have overstepped the law of the land and Geneva Convention. In naked violation of any law, over 40,000 innocent Tamil civilians were butchered, surrendered cadres were executed, hundreds Tamil women were sexually abused and hospitals were deliberately shelled and destroyed in the Vanni war by the Mahinda regime. Mahinda regime killed the highest number innocent Tamils than any other regime since the independence. Not a single person has been punished for these heinous crimes to date. The same alleged war criminal is now seeking the votes from the very people he massacred only 5 yrs ago. The only option for the Tamil should be a ‘protest vote.’ Every eligible Tamil, on this occasion, should vote for the Mahinda’s enemy – Maithri. Every Tamil ought to vote for Maithri to register a ‘protest vote’ against Mahinda for his war crimes. This is what those thousands of civilians who were butchered by Mahinda expect from every Tamil voter.

  • 8
    1

    From 1931 to 2005, Tamils have only lost through boycotts. It is time that the Tamils totally give up the idea of boycott. Boycotts will also send a wrong message to the whole world that Tamils have withdrawn into a cocoon and have decided to remain there until doom!

    Every time it may not be a choice between good and bad, it could sometimes be a choice between what is bad and what is not so bad. It is a matter of choice based on relative merit.

    Tamils should turn out to vote as otherwise it would mean they have forfeited their franchise!

    Sengodan. M

    • 2
      1

      As long as the next President also remains a Sinhala-Buddhist Nationalist why should the Tamils vote for them? Why should the Tamils worry if the President is a corrupt familial dictatorship?

      It is true that Mahinda Rajapakshe is not going to do anything good for the Tamils but his Anti-western and Anti-Tamil policy will ensure a continuous support for the Tamils from the West, UN, and Tamil Nadu. In the long term, it will help the Tamils to have a referendum to separate from the Sinhalese. If the Tamils want to hope for the best (long term gain) then they should ensure a 3rd term for Mahinda Rajapakshe by not voting (boycotting) to any Sinhala-Buddhist candidate.

      On the other hand, getting rid of the known devil Rajapakshe and bringing in the JHU dominated Maithreepala Sirisena is also not going to do anything good for the Tamils but his pro-western policy will only ensure that the Tamils lose their support in the West. If the Tamils think of short term gains and help to elect Maithreepala Sirisena, then they should get ready to prepare for the worst. The same problem will remain for another 6 years with no International support.

      • 0
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        Ravi,
        I don’t fully agree with your argument to boycott this election. There are good reason to vote for this election. Tamils are not going to vote for there to give their support to one or other. We don’t need to bother who is devil and who is evil. It is an assessment of what we have gone through so far and what we are expecting from this election. No one else should steal our votes and tell the world that we are ok with what we have been go through over the years. Sinhalese are now facing not similar issues but they are feeling the pain of what is happening to them. They are feeling that their rights have been stolen from them. Whoever comes to power we have to continue our struggle and we should not expect that West will help outrightly. We should show the world that we are not against Sinhalese and we are only against those who misguide Sinhalese people and using them for their own benefits. We have to be right before we ask for help against those who are wrong to us.

      • 2
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        Ravi

        No one could be more evil than Mahinda. Why do you want your people to suffer in the hands of this evil man for another 5 yrs? I reckon you are living one of the most prosperous nations and posting your irresponsible comments.

        The day the LTTE started killing the IPKF, the day the LTTE killed Rajiv G – I have killed off my dream of Tamil Eelam. Now we are left with only one option – settling for maximum devolution in an undivided Sri Lanka. Without Indian support for Tamil Eeelam, SL Tamils will never have Tamil Eeelam. Please do not dream about referendum etc.

  • 1
    1

    The writer has failed to explain what have the Tamils gained since independence by voting successive Sinhala regimes. Neither has he explained who to vote for and why?

    Can he also explain to the victims of the Mullaivaikkal war – the 89 000 widows, the 60 000 orphans and disabled, the 50 000 still refused entry into their own homes and lands, and also look for the 146 000 who are somewhere there in custody or buried, how or who to vote for?

    Is he saying that if rape is unavoidable, the best thing is to relax and enjoy it, is an option?

    Now five heard after the war, the Tamils are even not allowed to sing their national anthem in Tamil. Any fat hopes left in a United Sri Lanka?

    Keep out and abstain, and let the Singhalese decide if they want a united or divided Sri Lanka. Unless there is a structural change in the constitution, there is no hope for the Tamils, we should encourage the IC to vote for us for a UN referendum.

    We need a permanent political solution to live in peace and with dignity, to protect our culture, heritage, religions and our homeland to prosper as a Tamil Eelam Nation.

    By voting and participating in a fraud chauvinistic system, we are not going to find the solution, but encourage to prolong the problem.

    Manicka Vasagar

    • 4
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      Manicka:

      “Keep out and abstain, and let the Singhalese decide if they want a united or divided Sri Lanka. Unless there is a structural change in the constitution, there is no hope for the Tamils, we should encourage the IC to vote for us for a UN referendum”

      Have you heard of “dreaming”? You are not only dreaming, but day-dreaming. Let us, for argument sake, go along with what you say. After all, that’s what Prabhkaran did. What do you think? Are we better off or worse off than before. And, by the way, surely you must have a plan to encourage the IC to vote for us for a UN referendum and don’t you want to share your stupidity with us? What do you think, when thousands of Tamil civilians were brutally murdered by the SL regime, you mean to say the IC never knew about it? Or did they not notice the outpouring anxiety and grief of the thousands who staked their fears on the streets of London and in Canada? Or are you talking about some other IC from a different world? Wake up to your senses instead of displaying your absurd ignorance. And you also better take up this issue with your big brother India who seems to be the stumbling block. Unless you believe you have Captain America on your side.

  • 3
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    Vote For The Better Candidate For, There Is Never A Perfect Candidate.
    =====================================================================
    This is the title of TNA’s advice to the tamils.
    It is sensible advice in the present context of the election situation.

    G.Ponnambalam’s group’s thinking is:-
    If we cannot form a provincial council, others too should not be allowed to.

    Sivathasan’s advice makes sense. Tamils should follow it.

  • 1
    1

    Mr. Sivathasan,

    “Quotes from religious texts and lines from literature are often used inappropriately, to salve a troubled conscience or to philosophize dereliction of responsibility.”

    The crux of the problem is that religions (or, the authors of religious texts) don’t know anything about the God they are talking about, whether It/He/She even exists, but pretend to know God’s attributes and preach how people should live. This fundamental dishonesty permeates every aspect of life. Is it any wonder, then, that people use religions to argue every which way they want, oblivious of the glaring contradictions in arguing for both the thesis and the anti-thesis?

    It was this insight, my own Eureka moment, when I was in Grade 9, that drew me away from a deep commitment to Tamil nationalism I had developed in my childhood. More than three decades later, I remain unwavering in my position that religions, far from contributing to betterment, are a major stumbling block to solving the world’s most intractable political problems, including Sri Lanka’s.

    Reverting to the issue at hand, I agree that there should be absolutely no boycott of the election. The TNA and other civic groups should come up with effective counter-arguments to challenge the TNPF and its fellow travelers on the ground.

  • 3
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    Gajendran Ponnambalam,s actions (GP) may what may be aptly described as “cunning invasion of truth”. When Prabhakaran ordered the Tamil populace not to vote for either of the candidate in the 2005 presidential election, he made a colossal mistake, notwithstanding he may have done with a sincere intention not to get involved in Sinhala politics. Talks were rife even then as now that there were exchanges of money to keep the Tamils away from the ballot boxes. Be as it may, the end result of Prabhakaran’s decision is the tragic end in Mullaivaikal. His decision not to get engaged in the elections invariably meant that the Tamils voted for Mahinda Rajapakse. Therein lies the cunning invasion of truth, no matter how pervasive that may appear, sinister notwithstanding.

    I have written elsewhere that none of the Sinhala politicians really understand the pulse of the Tamils. Any concessions, if that has any meaning, is an act of balance to secure votes. However, it will always be a soul searching expedition on to decide on who is the lesser evil really. The decision to stay away will boost the chances of Rajapakse and as is the writ now prevailing today, he will then be the one who will cast the net far and wide and the effect of that should not be lost on dumbwits like GP. I would rather accuse the likes of GP as inflicting in a sinister way hurt and wounds on an already badly bruised and traumatised people. Many have questioned the TNA’s wisdom in asking the people to vote for Sarath Fonseka once but if the Tamils have to make a pact even with the devil to get the mass murderer and butcher MR out, it should be welcome. The stand by Mavai to vote to a candidate of their choice, instead of endorsing any candidate is a wise one, as MR is waiting to pounce and squeeze the Sinhala votes if TNA asks to vote for Maithiri. With idiots/jokers like GP, do the Tamils need enemies from the outside.

  • 1
    5

    Our Chandrikathasan is trying to put forward an argument that Chankiliyan or Pandaravanniyan wasted the lives by fighting with Europeans. He is arguing they should have just surrendered. Did this man move even a twig to help the UNHRC investigation? Did he ever write a report to the OHCHR? Now, Advising to Tamils how to vote? He remembers the 1931 boycott. But could not all the corporations for the past 65 years ATC and FP did to win back even minor rights from Sinhala Intellectual? What a drama !

    This guy has been brian washed by Sinhala intellectuals. Read here his writing. Sure, he did not read back to see what the hell he was writing. “They may have studied a thousand epics, but have failed to fathom the deep recesses of the poet’s mind” – Bharathi…….A century ago, Subramania Bharathi composed these lines in anguish and exasperation: “What shall I say and how shall I express? My heart can only burn for them”. Is he trying to say, like he is being a Chandrikadasan, Bharathi wanted to be a wihtemanthasan. Didn’t while Bharathi’s wife and Children was struggling for food, Bharathi without caring them, went on fighting against the Whites? What is the problem with his head? This guy couldn’t think a proper metaphor for this small matter, but preaching about Bhagavad Gita and Mahabharat? Really funny!
    For eighty years and more we Tamils placed ourselves between the hammer and the anvil….The typical Tamilian stance is not a mere expression of cynicism. It conveys colossal ignorance. He not just trying to be nasty, he is trying his maximum as dirty as possible too. He is doing his highest possible Tamil bashing he can. Why? He is trying to make the Tamils as the pawn to his friend Chandrika’s victory. His object is anything can happen to Tamils, but if the Chandrika’s side wins, that enough for him. He has no idea what kind of trouble the Royal family gave to Tamils when the provincial election was going on. What is this “Rice Mill Muthalali” did to stop it at that time? Everybody knows only Royal Family is the one going to come back on this election. If the Tamils unnecessarily insert themselves in to this Anvil, My3s and the hammer, the Royal Family, will Chandirkathasan shoulder to save Tamils?

    Can he get a word like the way he is abusing the Tamils, from one of the MY3s mouth. Can he say something bad about the Sinhalese in this election? Has Chandrikathasan courage to say something like that and face the MY3s? The MY3s has rejected to talk to TNA. The reason is they don’t want to lose their ID of protector of Buddhism. But our Chandrikathasan, without any meaning, entirely out of context, bringing Karl Marx said quite succinctly, “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature… It is the opium of the people”. He himself doesn’t call Tamils as Hindus or Christians, or Muslims. He calls them Tamils. What the heck he is writing? Is his brain alive?
    He may not know all Tamils votes for Carter, Clinton, Obama.. only. Not just for Bush, not even to Romney. This is the story all over the western world. Tamils had one organization called “Tamils for Hillary” (Never one as “Tamils for Chandrika”). That may come back in the coming American election. Now, they have” Tamils for Obama”. But that is irrelevant here. What is interesting is, one time V.Ponnampalam said “what is the difference between me and C.N. Annaththurai? He had and a MA, I too have that.” Is Chandrikathasan saying because Tamils voted for Obama they can well vote for Maithiri too? Is he saying because Maithiri is dressing like Modi, Maithiri is equals to Modi….. Obama… Clinton.. ..Carter?
    Come on man! don’t make comedies like that, please!

    Is like some CT authors did at the start of the election campaign, he too comparing MY3 with Gandhi? If you don’t know to compare people, please don’t go do that. Does he know who Obama is? Does he know Obama even have a Nobel Peace Prize? Clinton should have got it in Israel – Palestinian issue. Norway left him purposefully out to encourage the parties who warred to seek more peace. Does he know even Carter also got it. Kennedy, Carter, Clinton, Obama… is caliber of the people wins in Democratic party. DS, SWRD, Sirimavo, JR, Chandrika, King, MY3… this is the Lankan List. You may not have the capacity to understand, but there is reason why Tamils want to vote in American elections like that and Lankan election like this. Please know something about it.

    Shame on you!

    This is how you are showing what a low grade person you are.

    Chandrika will be investigated for the way Krishanti’s case conducted. It was an apparent effort to protect CBK’s people in the army, CBK sacrificed Rajapakse group. He cried at the court and said he was not the murderer. He very correctly pointed out the Chemmani mass murder. I am not vindicating him. But CBK is said to have covered up about 3000 torture, rape and murder cases in her time. In her time, there was no need for white van. Army had free hand in the North. Not one single officer was investigated for the crimes that have been blamed on them. Tamils may not go for revenge, but Rajapakse’s family will be waiting to sue CBK when she gets in line.

    CBK ordered the Tamils to leave Jaffna in 1995. There is no way Colombo living Chandrikathasan understand the suffering of the people involved in that. She covered up her Navali Church Murders, Madu Church murders, She burned down Kodikkaamam, Chavakachcheri, Kaithadi area when she could not win the LTTE. Those who witnessed the incident described how painful death the LTTE rebels and people were having when she used the illegal bombs on them. She fired Ranil’s government just because he made agreement with Prabhakaran.
    In Kurukshetra War, 18 Akuroni troops were facing each other. The most devastating war in the history of India, the Mahabharata war was going on. Body after body was falling down like a forest of trees falling to tornado. 17 days had passed. On the 17th day was, Karnan has been hit by Arjuna’s arrows and leaning on the wheel of his chariot. Krishna told to Arjuna, “What are waiting for Arjuna? Throw your arrows and finish him off.” Arjuna replied “Krishna, Karna has fallen down, I have to let him go and come back another time.” Krishna replied “If he come back he will kill your bothers first. Finish him now!” Arjuna obeyed and rained his arrows. They pricked all over of Karna’s body, like a thousand needles inserted into a Banana. But Arjuna still could not make his soul to part the body. Arjuna was stunned with fear. He said “Krishna, are you watching what is happening. My arrows are not able to do anything to him. Why is that?” Krishna said “Hold on” and get off from the chariot and went to Karuna and begged for the graces he had made in his life. Even on his death bed, Karuna did realized what is happening. But as a brave soldier, he gave it to Krishna. Krishna came back to chariot and told Arjuna “Now shoot your final arrow”. Arjuna did it and Karuna’s lifeless body fell down of the earth. His wife, Vrushali, in the palace, felt like her heart is being chopped form her chest while she is standing alive. Kunti, his mother too got that kind of shocking feeling, got up from the place where was sitting and listing about the briefing of war and ran to the war front. She put the head of the corpse and tread it like a baby it had born to her then. Arjuna was seeing this from his chariot and asked Krishna what was wrong with his mother. “Instead of she come and wish me for the war victory, she was crying for my enemy” he said. Then Krishna carelessly, very causally said to Arjuna, “but he is her son. He is your eldest brother too”. Arjuna was shocked and shouted “Krishna then why did you make me to kill him. Alas I have killed my bother.” Krishna laughed Arjuna and explained “Listen my dear friend, why do you say you killed Karuna? You killed only a dead body that was killed already by six others”.

    Some Tamils have been programmed by some Sinhala Intellectuals that the Mullivaaikkaal has been made by Tamils for themselves. They have no own brain so they are unable to think. They are bought by those propaganda. Ramanathan opposed to giving votes to Sinhala Buddhist because he did know that they can be easily programmed in the same way this traitor has been programmed by Sinhala Intellectuals. That was not granted by Donomore. GG wanted 50/50, to balance with the Sinhala Intellectuals tricks, but that too was not granted by Soulbury. SJV signed two pacts. They were torn off. Sinhala Intellectual, not being able to compete with Tamils, used Sinhala only to fire all Tamil employees from government services. They nationalized and closed down Tamils’ schools. Brought standardization and kept Tamil youths out of universities. The list goes on and on. I do not have to complete the list. If have a thing called brain insdie the skull hole, use it and see why the Mullivaaikkaal took place. Please tell if any of them had not happened, the Mullivaaikkaal could have been prevented or not. Don’t preach us as Mullivaaikkaal was something we did to us. Mullivaaikkaal is the witnesses of the Sinhala Intellectuals barbaric nature. You have been bought by them. So you are doing the Tamil bashing.

    After begging Vajpayee through Kathirgamar for ships to remove the army fighting in the North, the failed CBK turned her attention to West. Managala has said Chandrika and Kathirgamar used Condoleezza Rice to suppress LTTE’s operations in EU. (Then I do not understand why CBK is good but Bush’s government is not good). She is claiming she is the one completed 70% of the Mullivaaikkaal war. Then how Kings’ government is not good for Tamils, but Chandrika’s government is good? Are you saying the one does more damage is better for Tamils?
    King is saying Diaspora is planning to hand him to UN electric chair. Are you denying it and saying diaspora is with the King?, no!? If you are not denying it Wijeyadasa Rajapakse is saying if King comes back to power UN will impose Sanctions. Do you want to deny him? If not so, all over the CT, Dayan has written that 2009 29 countries voted for him, but in 2014 25 countries opposed GLP. What is his explanation is IC is turning away from Royal government. Do you deny at least that? If not do think before you start to write. I bet you would not do that!
    Do not put your words into our mouths. You cannot show that they have written anywhere not to vote for MY3 because then IC will support to separation of the Tamil Eelam. That is really a funny joke. You have been programmed by Sinhala intellectuals that Mullivaaikkaal was done by Tamils. You are trying to put that into our mouth. All 100% of responsibility of Mullivaaikkaal is for Sinhala Intellectuals. They took us there and murdered us. That is war crime committed by Sinhala Intellectuals. Cowards like you trying to put your word into our mouth. There are argument put forward that LTTE used human shields. But nobody has made the joke you made. World had seen what happened at the Fonseka’ selection. If Tamils votes for a Candidate, he/she will lose. You know if you openly campaign for MY3 in the north, he certainly will lose.
    Prabhaharan did take money and arms from Premadasa. But, he did not go to Mullivaaikkaal that time. Why? Because Kathirgamar, a traitor like you, was not in that time. I do not know if Prabhakaran took money from Royal Family. CBK’s Goolaiya, Mangala has to bring a case on that and has to make the 2005 election nullified. Why is he hiding from doing that? Prabhakaran did not allow election in North in other occasions too. The idea is he wanted an interim government. CBK destroyed it by using Kathirgamar to make LTTE as terrorist. CBK piled large stock of arms. CBK started War for Peace. CBK started carpet bombing. She is first one used banned Thermobaric bombs in Chavakachcheri and Kaithady. Royal family continued the carpet bombing and used same chemical bombs.

    • 2
      0

      Mallaiyuran,
      So you want Rajapaksa family to remain in power and steel everything. How much do Rajapaksas pay you to write this? No one is paying me anything. Who is paying you…just tell me :).

  • 0
    1

    “For anyone, whatever be the country, an election is quite demanding.”

    What about middle eastern countries?

    “that is marketing Boycott. It calls itself Tamil National People’s Front,”

    Tamil National People’s Front is a break away group from the TNA. Therefore they object anything and everything what TNA agrees.

    Also Tamil Nation People Front lack of intellectuals and matured politicians. The member of this political party are Play Boy, even in their social life.

    Also in the last election, in the whole of the North and East, ONLY 5000 voted for this Play Boy group. Therefor their boycotte is not working in the coming Presidential election.

    Mr Sivathasan, if you give any credit to this group or recognise them, why don’t you become their advisor?

    • 2
      0

      Stanley

      Have you read the scathing and severe criticism that I have subjected TNPF to. When you just saw the name of the Party you thought I have praised it and came out with your gibberish.

      If you are not literate enough to read, why on earth do you venture to comment?

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