27 January, 2020

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Racism Wins Elections

By Mohamed Faizal

Mohamed Faizal

Presidential election 2019 is over. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has won, and this has made some people happy, and others unhappy. Happy people believe that everything will be hunky dory from now on, and the Unhappy people believe that hell will break loose. Both parties are wrong: violence or peace, progress or decline, and development or poverty do not depend on individuals – no matter how powerful the individual leader is.

Irrespective of how powerful a leader is, he always shares power with the clan that surrounds him. This may include ministers, leaders in the armed forces and the police, judges, high ranking bureaucrats, religious leaders, business magnates and so on. The dominant opinion in this influential group always determines how he rules. Any leader who disappoints sufficient number of people from this influential group effectively puts his job on the line, but no leader is foolish enough to do that. They all throw their principles out of the window – that is if they had any in the first place – and compromise.

A lot of the minority voters, especially the Muslims, are very unhappy tonight, as if they have lost the silver bullet in the defeat of their favourite candidate Sajith Premadasa. Little do they seem to realise that had Sajith been successful, he would have ruled exactly like how the outgoing president Maithri ruled. Maithri was the minorities’ favourite candidate last time, but anti-minority violence under him did not cease. This is because the dominant opinion in the influential clan sharing power with the president, is favourable for anti-Muslim violence. Any leader, be it Maithri or Sajith, has no choice but to respect this opinion and appease this influential group. 

Politicians have the most accurate understanding of the nature and the psychology of the people. They know that it is harder to reason with them, but much easier to racially provoke them; and therefore, they always choose this easiest option.

Racism helps win votes. Modi in India, Trump in the US, and Bolsanaro in Brazil – all won power by provoking racism. So did the Rajapaksas. The reason for the overwhelming rejection of Sajith Premadasa in virtually all Sinhalese electorates is his inclusive political approach. Thanks to the provocation of racism, people can now only think in dichotomies: Us Vs Them: a politician is either for Them or Us. In this racially conscious political climate, no politician can afford to ignore the whimsies of racists. Any politician reusing to be so and attempting to be inclusive will be perceived as representing the Other and will be soundly rejected, as Sajith was.

If a politician were to woo minority votes without alienating the racially conscious majority, inclusive policies isn’t an option for him; he should have policies that are racist, but less so when compared to the opponent who depends for his victory solely on the majority votes. Keeping the policies “racist” would satisfy the racially conscious majorities, while being the “lesser racist” would satisfy the minorities. The quality of politics among the Muslims are an all-time law. Politics for them now is simply choosing the lesser of the two evil. There is no principles for standing up what they believe to be the truth and struggle for those beliefs.

One would have thought that the most vocal against this racial politics would have been the Muslim leaders themselves for Muslims are its most seriously affected victims. But alas! They seem to favour racism the most.

Presence of racial politics among the majority benefits these Muslim politicians in many ways: it feeds the “counter” racism among Muslims, and it helps keep the Muslim masses weak and defenceless so that their impotent leaders can pretend to be the knights in shining armours standing between the majority racists and the “innocent” Muslim victims.

Some of the Muslim politicians and civil leaders are on record saying that Muslims must vote for Gota because he is the most evil, and the safest place to be is the closest place to the tyrant. Such is the level of cowardice and opportunism among the Muslim leadership. There appears to be not one principled leader who would bravely struggle to change the current, diabolical political culture, in the interest of the whole nation. 

The challenges before us are so uphill, but we cannot afford to lose hope. Those who want peace, not war; progress, not decline; and development, not poverty must focus on the dominant ideas among the influential people, which facilitates the current anti-Muslim politics. This is no easy task, but there is some hope. Mahesh Senanayake the former general, for example, has talked about how peace-loving people from among all communities can come together and work to change this toxic climate. And there are many like him in the Sinhalese community and some among the Muslim community.

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Latest comments

  • 6
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    Not all the minorities voted for the UNP. The UNP lost the Catholic vote after they washed their hands off Easter attacks and Sinhala and Tamil Christians turned to the SLPP instead. It was fear of repeat attacks. They had had enough with the LTTE terror and were looking for a strong leader for the nation.

  • 7
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    Racism Wins Elections

    *** Yes it is obvious that the Majority of the Majoriy are Racists who voted for CRIMINAL Gotha and his Cohorts. But I take comfort from the fact and I have always said Sri Lankas Sovereignty is limited to Indias Security. Every action has a reaction and events since the Election hav brought Home the following message.
    1) What Gotha Power means for free speech in Sri Lanka was amply demonstrated by the following. There was a report under the following heading in Info Lanka ” Indias Foreign Minister rushes to Colombo to deliver an important message to Gotha from Mr.Modi. But within a few hours it was deleted and no doubt it was done on the orders of Gotha as it was damaging to Gothas reputation of tough man during Election Rhetoric ie I will keep Sri Lankas Sovereingnty intact and no one can tamper with it. But it was tampered with by the urgent visit by “Jeyashankar.”
    2) India is not going to let Gotha run riot and he will not be able to Challenge India . Gotha, Mahintha and all the other Gotha lovers I have a message for you. It is the Indian Jurisdiction which reigns Supreme under Gotha so get used to it. If Gotha doesnt get the hint India will insist on a Military Presence just as in Maldives. It will be too late.

    • 0
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      Kali

      Indian official came to SL to official invite Mr Gotabaya to India on 29/11. It was in all media.

      • 2
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        Latha .

        “Samathama Nan Unkal Kudavara Samathama”

        Did the official come for a physical contact and then Kiss him Goodbye.

    • 0
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      kali,
      .
      “If Gotha doesnt get the hint India will insist on a Military Presence”
      .
      Sorry, SL is not another Maldives, and Indians are trying their best not to make SL becoming another Nepal which is a Chinese tilt. India knows that China has upper hand here since Indian economy is doing very bad these days while China has a lot of money to pour more investments & loans, in addition to MR being pro-Chinese. So India is very careful & shivering not to lose SL since it has to answer its boss, USA on regional power presence project handed over to India.
      .
      I think India’s cheap tactic of flexing muscles in the region on behalf of USA won’t work for long since Chinese are much more ahead of them. Historical ties is a different story, but if their agenda is to satisfy the boss, USA?

      • 2
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        Fathima Sena you Sinkalam :

        First of all no self respecting Muslim which you pretend to be will side with Gotha. You are right Sri Lanka is diffrent from Maldives. Maldives is 200 mile away but still India has brought it under its control without doing the dirty work for USA . Sri Lanka is different as it is Conjoined with India and you share the same GENITALS. So you share the pleseaures and Agony as one.
        Your sister another Sinkalam Latha ( Mankeshkar ) thinks that Indian Foreign Minister came to Sri Lanka to Hug and Kiss Gotha. No you stupid he brought the 5 year Old ” Laddu” lefte over after Mr.Modis first victory and pushed it down Gothas Throat and he is going to Delhi for treatment following food poisoning.

  • 2
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    Moderator

    I am concerned for your safety under Gotha .You are taking a long time to edit.

    Let me ask you ” NALANTHANA”

  • 0
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    Yes, indeed. It is very true in Sri Lanka. Bensen

  • 2
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    Dear Mr. Mohamed Faizal, thank you for sharing most common view that Only Sinhala Majority is the racism which may be the general opinion of considerable percentage of Sri Lankan Muslims like you. However what you forget is that unless Easter Sunday attack happened Gota could never have such a landslide victory. Aftermath of the incident it was Muslims who oppose checking of Mosques. they sidelined saying that terrorists are not true Muslims but did not support for the measures taken by Security forces. your people still wear burka in spite of the outcry. What Muslims as a entire ethnic group have sacrificed? Even minimum age for marriages is not yet legalized. This gives an signal for the Sinhala people intentionally or unintentionally that you are different from mainstream. your people require different set of rules or legal frame work. i don’t say Sinhala people are correct or wrong. But general perception is that when you feel insecure in your own country you have to be defensive. you will think about your loved ones and how could you be able to save them. Gota’s campaign successfully addressed to this mind set. So don’t blame Sinhala people while most of Muslims are thinking about themselves.it not not Sinhala people who selected Gota as the 7th executive president, but thanks to the Saharan and Ranil Sinhala people saw him as a savior.

  • 0
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    i agree with EA . anotherr reason is ranil wick. this man wants to be the opposition leader till he die
    it`s a master plan. the moment he brought arjuna mahendran and guided him to rob the central bank
    he paved the way for GOP , grand old party, UNP`s destruction. it is because of this unp got only 107 seats. otherwise it would definitely more than 120.

    9

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