28 October, 2021

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Rajapaksa Regime’s Sailor Scuttles Professional Diplomacy!

By Oliver Balthazar –

The role of a professional Foreign Secretary (FS) – public servant as opposed to a politician – is traditionally associated with being measured and articulate. It is a position that requires considerable experience, intelligence, acumen, patience and apolitical credibility in the interest of the State. FS is the first professional focal point for balanced diplomatic engagement, based on mutual respect and mutual trust. Politicisation of this role carries grave consequences.

The current FS has a penchant for dramatic cheap talk-show publicity across multiple media. He engages in this new brand of sensational public diplomacy like an amateur village circus performer who is eager to entertain and impress. However, whether before the local gallery or on the international stage, he doesn’t fail to make a mockery of himself and his position. Only the ignorant, gullible and ill-informed would be impressed with his theatrics! What’s behind the theatrical verbiage of this FS, who cannot differentiate between amateur convoluted academic commentary and professional diplomacy? There are two simple realities behind this phenomenon: political patronage factor and regime security intentions.

POLITICAL PATRONAGE: Sri Lanka is accustomed to both career and politically appointed non-career Foreign Secretaries. Most political appointees, including an unscrupulous few from the Foreign Service itself, perform an intrinsically political role of serving their master’s personal power interests above that of the State. Exceptions are rare.

This situation arises when the FS, as an individual, is personally beholden to his political master for his position which would otherwise be unattainable or unsustainable. Entirely divorced from the institutional culture of apolitical professionalism, he becomes a personal political servant who purveys his master’s ruling logic to the world by fancy-dressing it. Such degenerates play little or no role in actual foreign policy formulation, as there is no “policy” to speak of other than fiats and diktats by the authoritarian master. In this political environment, “Admiral Professor” Jayanath Colombage has emerged as a truly unique catalyst accelerating the decay of professional diplomacy. How did he get there, and what is his role?

A career naval officer, in an expanding navy, he rose through the ranks to the pinnacle of command. All very well. Yet, a burning ambition for unprincipled social upward mobility pressed him to go further than what upright and dignified professionalism would take him. Hyper systemic politicisation provided the means to that end.

Colombage was one of the navy commanders who looked after the personal interests of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s second son and nephew; both benefited immensely from the navy in contravention of rules/procedures

(https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1437635251480653826.html).

He was implicated in a controversial floating armoury case, along with the then Defence Secretary who is the current President – involving a crony private security firm, Avant Garde – only to be acquitted on a technicality under strange circumstances. He was also counted on for keeping a lid on grave human rights violations involving the navy. In an unprecedented move, he was even appointed as Chairman of the Shipping Corporation while serving as Navy Commander.

With eyes firmly set on political patronage, post-retirement, Colombage went on to refashion himself as a pseudo-intellectual and International Relations “expert.” The Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) – which is being transformed into an expansive domain for breeding regime supporters, civil and military, with dubious qualifications while compromising its traditional role of professional military education – came in handy to obtain a PhD/Professorship. Even in that context, he turned out to be a unique candidate/recipient as he was responsible for the management and regulation of that very institution as Navy Commander/Board Member prior to retirement. This speaks volumes about “homegrown” models and solutions that he touts on behalf of the regime.

He worked closely with Milinda Moragoda’s (a defunct politician now appointed as High Commissioner to India) Pathfinder Foundation which supported Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s movement to regain power. Once in power, he was appointed Additional Secretary to the President on Foreign Relations. Having ensured his obedience and servility, on a very short leash, he was appointed as Foreign Secretary (FS) – the first ever former military officer to hold that office and the first ever to adorn it with the high-sounding titles of “Admiral Professor!” In reality, he remains a regime sycophant, as opposed to an apolitical professional, who is only required to blindly obey his master’s diktats while fancily dressing them up to appear respectable to the world! As chief administrator and chief accounting officer of the Foreign Ministry, he could be counted on for smoothening the administrative process for numerous unscrupulous political appointees (regime cronies, family, etc.) to diplomatic missions abroad without raising any professional concerns or objections regarding their suitability. He is, in effect, the regime’s principal conduit for the politicisation of professional diplomacy.

REGIME SECURITY: Under Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Presidency, there is only one regime intention as far as Sri Lanka’s foreign relations or domestic affairs are concerned – “Regime Security.” It is in no way synonymous with the long-term interests of the state and public. There is no foreign policy, only a series of fluid presidential diktats and utterances masquerading as policy!

Who other than the “Admiral Professor” could use extensive verbiage, based on recently learnt International Relations/Security jargon, to lend credence to his master’s preferred style of (mis)governance? He has adopted a unique style of speaking to the world, more like a pseudo-academic than a Foreign Secretary. He switches to rhetorical tough-talk over human rights allegations – characteristic of a besieged offender – by accusing traditional democratic partners of “weaponising human rights” against Sri Lanka. He is fond of overusing the word “strategic,” mixing it up with various other terms, until it loses all meaning. It is a waste of time and space to dwell on all the hollow terminologies he regurgitates with a litany of conveniently picked statistics. Nevertheless, some of his ridiculous assertions – including but not limited to his recent address at the Carnegie Endowment in New York – are worth debunking in the interest of professional diplomacy and public awareness.

(https://twitter.com/MFA_SriLanka/status/1440299494990434310?s=08)

“India First:” I am yet to come across a country that purports, so ridiculously, to put another country’s interests “first” in its foreign policy! Who exactly does the Foreign Secretary intend to deceive with this empty flatulent slogan?  Perhaps the President – a former US citizen and Trump admirer – got a bright idea from “America First,” and directed his Foreign Secretary to adopt it with a unique twist! An empty flatulent slogan only demonstrates duplicity; not a genuine commitment towards promoting long-term bilateral security interests with the country’s most important external diplomatic partner. It is a poor concealment of the fact that an extra-regional power that best-guarantees “regime security” (i.e., China) remains the regime’s natural choice at the expense of all else. That card is played close to the regime’s chest with considerable duplicity. (https://theprint.in/diplomacy/sri-lanka-to-adopt-india-first-approach-as-new-policy-says-foreign-secretary-colombage/489742/)

“Neutral” and “non-aligned”: Was the Foreign Secretary demonstrating these very principles when he spiritedly and passionately – with amateur zeal – defended China over accusations of human rights violations in Xinjiang in particular? He went to great lengths in this regard in an interview claiming that he had visited Xinjiang, courtesy the Chinese Government! (https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-04-14/Sri-Lankan-Foreign-Secretary-responds-to-Western-criticism-on-China-ZrCX94tHj2/index.html)

Is this neutrality and nonalignment evident when Sri Lanka’s Right-wing ruling party – in a country with a long tradition of democratic governance which it shares with its main neighbour – openly and blatantly declares that it considers the Chinese Communist Party its role-model? Attempting to import authoritarian tendencies/practices while cultivating questionable military and strategic economic ties, with implications for regional security and stability, only runs counter to long-standing balanced bilateral relations with China. Such amateur fabrications have no place in professional diplomacy. They are the province of simpletons and village idiots!

Exhaustively wearing out the term “strategic,” the FS chooses to spew jargon – “strategic competition,” “strategic convergence,” “strategic dilemma,” and “strategic chaos,” – to describe “insecurity” in the Indian Ocean. He does so in a sensational manner unbecoming of a professional and responsible Foreign Secretary. Is he so desperate to prove that Sri Lanka’s security is imperilled to such an extent, by great power rivalry, that it is running out of options? What exactly is the real source of “insecurity” for Sri Lanka? Has he no clue that his political master’s regime security project which invites disproportionate influence from an extra-regional power – alien to the region’s democratic political culture, however flawed it may be – would prove destabilising? Contrary to what the FS likes the world to believe, the greatest threat to Sri Lanka’s “sovereignty,” “independence” and “autonomy” emanates not so much from great power rivalry than it does from domestic and external consequences arising from a corrosive regime security project that he tries to fancifully misrepresent to the world.Sheltering behind jargonistic arguments of “homegrown solutions” and “strategic autonomy” while clinging to a crudely authoritarian regime security project, at the expense of human rights and democratic governance, cannot continue indefinitely without serious consequences for both state and polity. The inept and self-deceiving FS even takes a sarcastic swipe at some of Sri Lanka’s traditional democratic partners by asserting that they desire a “free and open Indo-Pacific” only for “likeminded liberal democracies.” Since when did cheap mockery become part of a professional Foreign Secretary’s repertoire?

The Foreign Secretary’s sarcasm over countries and their strategies, as they relate to the “Indo-Pacific,” is inept on a par with a foreign affairs parvenu. Mocking legitimate concerns based on core values upheld by liberal democracies – in the face of a revisionist power that hasn’t fully adjusted itself to a rules-based international order – is a low pedestrian act in the realm of professional diplomacy. It is clear that his contempt for legitimate concerns of traditional democracies derives from his political master’s contempt for the rule of law and democratic governance within the country. Sri Lanka is a traditional democracy – one of Asia’s oldest – which has struggled, yet managed to stay the course. A blatant and systematic regime security project that seeks to permanently undermine its democratic core values – including human rights and the rule of law – cannot be disguised before the world with a duplicitous and fanciful “homegrown solutions” argumentThe Foreign Secretary’s assertion that the US-SL Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Grant Agreement was stalled due to democratic “homegrown fear” is an outright lie. It was his master’s party, when in Opposition, that instigated a major public campaign against the Agreement with the aim of discrediting the then government. Once in power, the President even appointed a committee, consisting of regime loyalists, to jeopardise the Agreement. Likewise, Sri Lanka’s traditional democratic partners (US, India, Japan, et al) have been insulted and embarrassed in the regime’s quest for an all-encompassing formidable external patron, protector and guarantor to secure parochial self-interests. It is a pity that China, a long-standing benevolent partner, should thus be entangled in a corrupt regime security projecIn sensational style, the FS claims that Sri Lanka – based on its regional strategic location – is a “football pitch,” a “chessboard” and a “punching bag” for regional and outside powers. In reality, all three assertions are only correct if applied to the current regime’s actions of creating a dominant narrative of externalised existential threats to augment its crude majoritarian domestic political schemes. It is the regime and its political Foreign Secretary who seeks to plunge professional diplomacy to the level of crude village politics, while striving to promote verbose arguments of “strategic chaos” and “insecurity” for political ends. They do so because it is the jungle that suits their animal instincts for crude political domination; certainly not civilised democratic stability, inclusive socioeconomic development and balanced foreign relations.

His claim that Sri Lanka seeks FDI over grants rings hollow when a regime security project – characterised by widespread nepotism, misgovernance, economic mismanagement, corruption, militarisation, communalism, impunity and human rights violations – takes precedence over all else. In his brand of pseudo-diplomacy, potential investors should ignore or disregard all such concerns as there is no better investment climate!

The “Admiral Professor” doesn’t fail to speak duplicitously of ocean pollution. His regime’s notoriety for treating all aspects of environmental security with contempt, whether they relate to mega-development projects or maritime pollution, is well known. He maintains deafening silence over what is perhaps the worst maritime pollution incident in the country’s territorial waters – the controversial “X-Press Pearl” shipping disaster, in June 2021, that resulted in oil, chemicals and microplastics spilling into the sea with devastating long-term damage to the marine environment. What else but the regime’s complicity would compel him to remain silent? And was neighbouring India’s deployment of specialised naval assets to help limit the disaster indicative of “strategic chaos” and “insecurity” – not to mention an array of other sensational jargonistic drivel – that the FS is prone to sensationally hype?]

All indications are that the regime’s mission for the “Admiral Professor,” dystopian as it would appear, is to scuttle the already battered and limping ship of professional diplomacy once and for all. Having achieved that, a truly servile brand of regime-based political diplomacy could be formalised in the interest of “strategic” regime security!

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Latest comments

  • 23
    0

    Ah, What a wonderful character sketch of the Admiral Professor! I read the article twice over!

  • 24
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    A brilliant exposure of a phony 3-in-1 [admiral, scholar and diplomat] guy’s ‘strategic’ idiocy. It makes you laugh while at the same time you feel very sad for your country. There is a sense of doom in all this.

    • 9
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      Only in Sri Lanka do impressive titles puff up the holders but mean very little. An “Admiral Professor” who remarks he is “travellng from Islamabad to Pakistan” for example.
      Then there are the numerous Visharadas in music, none of whom could match the international achievements of a young non-Visharada girl.

  • 24
    0

    Dear Oliver,
    thanks for the article.
    Before I read it fully, I would like to know why SRILANKEN media did not discuss about the costs spent for the trip.
    And how ,much would have been saved, if so called image polishing trip was held virtually ?

    Why do srilanken media behave so biased to RULERs only ?
    To me, the media is the root cause of the crisis created in our motherland today.

  • 20
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    My concern is what if Lanka runs out of titles soon , one too many to give. ?? Admiral Prof,; Admiral, Doctor, Prof; Then what ?? By the way nice picture, where is it from ?? Italy. People without food in Lanka can keep looking at the picture to feel satiated.

  • 7
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    Please listen to young Indian IFS replying to Imran Khan at the UN. This is called professionalism
    https://www.livemint.com/news/india/sneha-dubey-meet-indian-diplomat-who-lambasted-pakistan-at-unga-11632553929704.html

    • 2
      2

      Yes, Rajash , when I heard that myself I realised that she did what a guy like me wouldn’t be able to.
      .
      Her inability to correctly pronounce the adjective “august”, and my knowing that would have counted for little.
      .
      Btw, a few months ago, I listened for fifty spell-bound minutes to what Imran Khan said two years ago.
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyaQgnQCQ5k&t=3s
      .
      He’s been much less than honest in what he’s been doing in relation to Afghanistan, but see what a skilful speaker he is. Even his address this year was so effective that it was necessary for that Indian girl to intervene. Had we been trapped like that, what would we have been able to do?
      .
      Incidentally, Rajash, last week I made more or less the same point as you’re making; my comment has this Sneha’s voice (with “august” mispronounced), but fewer details about her than yours gives. Yes, she’s a smart young thing.
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/president-gotabaya-rajapaksas-full-speech-to-the-un-general-assembly/comment-page-1/#comments

      Comment of : Sinhala_Man / September 25, 2021

      • 1
        0

        It would be less grating to eyes and mind if you’ve not referred to the Indian FS as “that Indian Girl” and “young thing”. She has a title even if you don’t know her name.
        Your gender or age does not a valid factor for you to be so dismissive. Well, in my opinion, it doesn’t diminish that foreign secretary from a foreign country but your own status as a human.

      • 1
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        Daria, I apologise. You’re quite right.
        .
        I wasn’t at first able to work out what IFS meant, but I think that I had found out by the time I submitted my comment.
        .
        It’s good to find that some readers are as sensitive as you are.
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela, Sri Lanka

      • 0
        0

        Daria,
        .
        The young lady’s name and designation:
        .
        Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of 2012 batch, Sneha Dubey.
        .
        Those are to be found in the link given by Rajash.

  • 8
    0

    Power deal problem is being studied by Buddhist Clergy.

    https://island.lk/sjb-takes-their-case-against-govt-signing-secret-power-deal-with-us-firm-to-asgiriya-and-malwatte-temples/

    A retired admiral therefore can be top diplomat of the nation.

  • 8
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    Here is another interview with the pseudo-intellectual Jayanath Colombage:
    https://tinyurl.com/73ssmnsh

    • 1
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      Thanks, KP.
      .
      That Youtube of around 45 minutes is devastating. Colombage’s boorishness is betrayed by his body language.
      .
      Readers, make sure that you see it.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

  • 25
    1

    Look at these hillbillies of Hambantota sitting at a 5 star hotel using poor tax payeros money to fill their stomachs, while the country burns. Just have one look at them, they are nothing but uneducated village rascals, who play the race card to deceive the people of the country and rob the nation to bankruptcy.

    • 9
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      “hillbillies of Hambantota”
      Brilliant. A very apt description of the Rajapaksa misfits’ comic behaviour in surroundings totally alien to them. Thanks to Prabhakaran, these vulgarians have attained unforeseen power and wealth. But the way things are unraveling for them, an end to their parvenu misery may not be far off.

      • 2
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        Ajay Sundara Devan, yes I agree with you friend about the VP fellow who took the Rs. 182,000,000 in the Vanni jungles and prevented the UNP from coming to power. But then again, the UNP did come to power and did nothing. They could have rounded up these hillbillies and thrown their uneducated country backward asses in the slammer but Ranil was eternally sleeping and that wild buffalo from another part of the uneducated village was always looking absolutly stupid on TV. It is sad to note all the smart ones have run away from the country.

  • 9
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    Tax payers

    • 7
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      Not only these hillbillies but all Sinhalese led Sri Lankan or Ceylon governments have been playing first, the Sinhalese race card and then the Sinhalese Buddhist race card to come into power. Most Sinhalese are racist to the core and lap this anti-Tamil propaganda. Once they come into power live the good life and amass huge amounts of ill-gotten wealth and live the good life. The largely racist Sinhalese electorate, that voted for them are very happy with the little crumbs thrown at them, as long as they discriminate and marginalize the Tamil minorities.

  • 4
    0

    The King’s speech at the UN GA and the talks with the UNSG were meant to mark a clear line in diaspora, between those, who were denied visa by Appe Aanduwa and struggling to get it, and the others who wants an International Inquiry, supported, and strengthened by other international human rights activists. If an international inquiry materializes, by all means, the evidence will have to come from outside because internal sources are at extreme vulnerability of government revenge if they support an investigation. And it is a war without witness. Remember Ganear and her Swiss embassy problem at the start of the Royal government. So, bringing evidence outside is not easy. So, Tamils must keep agitating international agencies to contribute to materialize this investigation. By separating & creating some trifling importance for few Diaspora groups, King is trying to defeat the consolidated effort of all, who are Tamils diaspora and activists and government personnel in democratic countries, calling for investigation. But what will be the result of this is, few will get visas like Father Emmanuel and go back to Lankawe. So the relatives of missing persons and other local victims will have somebody ask for work from them, outside the country. We wish the government would quickly give them visas and take them back so the diaspora groups can be clean.

  • 13
    0

    Thank you, Mr Balthazar, for this appropriate and timely “take down” of this lickspittle apology for a “Foreign Secretary”. The “Admiral Professor” is everything to describe and more.

    His interview with Tim Sebastian in April of this year exemplifies everything this author says, and for those who mightn’t have seen it yet, here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTgd-emN17Y

    Long gone are the days when men from the Royal Ceylon/Sri Lanka Navy were disciplined gentlemen, who were also “admirable”, unlike scum like the current “admiral professor” who crawled his way up the regime’s unmentionables to get to where he sits like a viper-leprechaun, now.

    • 1
      0

      It’s the same as what KP has given above; only 26 minutes, but I have said above that it is about 45 minutes. I’m sorry I got the duration wrong.
      .
      It kept me rivetted. How did I get the time so wrong? Tim Sebastian, the interviewer got so much in that it seemed to go on and on.
      .
      This is a “must listen”. Brilliant exposé.

  • 13
    0

    So the bastion of Sinhala-Buddhism enjoying western-decadence, eh? ……… What’s wrong with a good ol’ traditional rice and curry?

    They all want to join the other side ……. at the end of this “Sinhala-Buddhist” shindig, no Sinhala-Buddhist will be left: all would have turned themselves into Uncle Toms!


    When the great Sinhala-Buddhists, the Bandaranayakes, were coming to dinner ……. my marriage nearly broke off ……. my wife’s side was trying to force me to use fork and spoon ……. the great champions of the common-man, don’t use their fingers to eat rice and curry …..

    Oh Boy! …… someday, when I have time, I’m gonna sit down and write a book!

    • 8
      0

      Native,

      …… Regarding the upward mobility of Baiyyas like the Rajapakses …….

      your friend Pierre Bourdieu argues ……… “that judgments of taste are related to social position, or more precisely, are themselves acts of social positioning. The argument is put forward by an original combination of social theory and data from quantitative surveys, PHTOGRAPS and interviews, in an attempt to reconcile difficulties such as how to understand the subject within objective structures. In the process, Bourdieu attempts to reconcile the influences of both external social structures and subjective experience on the individual. His book Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste (1979) would go on to be named “the sixth most important sociological work of the twentieth century” by the International Sociological Association (ISA).

      Pierre Bourdieu’s work emphasized how social classes, especially the ruling and intellectual classes, preserve their social privileges across generations despite the myth that contemporary post-industrial society boasts equality of opportunity and high social mobility, achieved through formal education.” :))

  • 21
    0

    Our culture and education has failed to produce good, capable, balanced citizens. I would say that education in indigenous languages will teach to read and writs but that is all, there is no character building or equipping the student for larger horizons of the world.

    This is clearly shown in our so called leadership, in parliament , in public service etc.Even in the private sector there is only profit and money that counts, there is no quality of product or performance.

    When you watch some one like Dammika Perera who began as a Casino owner now talking as if he has solutions to every problem we see how little success can be so distorting. If his mind worked in English, he will not talk like that because it would be apparent that every problem is multi-dimensional as well as relative and there is no one answer. In the Sinhala mind, things are very simple.

    As to this FS , a late comer to everything, world affairs must be very easy. He has no self awareness , bumming even that muscle bound hulk next to him is part of the truth of his being.

    • 2
      1

      Oh, deepthi, deepthi,
      .
      Although I don’t violently disagree with what you say, I request that you write more circumspectly. Here’s Dammika Perera speaking English, a more than half hour programme, which I can’t expect you to listen to, because I haven’t myself. I hold him in as much contempt as you do – but not because of his English. He seems able to actually discuss certain matters in the language, however haltingly.
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpSc-ydxGtk
      .
      A person knowing only a Swabasha can be an admirable character. Please remember that not even 2% of Lankans think in English. Do we need a language to think? I don’t know.
      .
      I wonder if you have noticed that some people move their lips when reading “silently”. They are auditory readers, usually very slow.
      .
      https://www.wgu.edu/blog/auditory-learning-style2008.html#close
      .
      I feel that most thinking is a combination in various proportions of visual, kinaesthetic, and auditory activity. It’s difficult to tell; the moment we intuit we start acting in an abnormal way. Despite all the advances in Artificial Intelligence we may never be able to answer the question I asked.
      .
      You remember our discussion earlier this month, don’t you?
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-maligned-lakshman-shock-patient-will-die-unless-the-new-governor-diffuses-it-forthwith/

      • 2
        0

        “I would say that education in indigenous languages will teach to read and write but that is all, there is no character building or equipping the student for larger horizons of the world.”

        deepthi silva

        You have already made an assumption in your mind ……. and used all your considerable intellectual ability to convince yourself that your assumption is true ……. without testing if your hypothesis holds water.

        In Lanka, the most corrupt are not the indigenous language speakers ……. but the “Western educated.”

        Look around, observe ………. “Western education” – and the indigenous-speakers who make use of them – gives a segment of Lankan society to be corrupt at a very sophisticated level ………. that the indigenous-speakers can’t even dream of …………

        Check out Steven Levitt ……… who argues that what we accept as conventional-wisdom/common-sense ……. at closer examination ……. may not be true at all ……….


        “Life has not been devised by morality: it wants deception, it lives on deception.” ……. Don’t/shouldn’t we know that? ………. Human, All Too Human :))

    • 3
      4

      English is not a special language; I feel that the degree of sophistication that we possess, correlates with how well we use language – never mind which languages one has mastered.
      .
      I used to take delight in listening to Maithripala Sirisiena speaking. Not any more; he messed things up for us in style.
      .
      However, that is a near perfect example for us; he had got himself a good qualification in agriculture from the Farm School in Kundasale, had he stuck to farming I’m sure that none of us would have considered him lacking in character. I refuse to condemn his outrage at that Iglesias bra-sniffing.
      .
      Deepthi, could you please come back to me on this? You are unwittingly undermining our patient attempts to persuade 95% of our citizens to think intelligently about public affairs.
      .
      Expand your thoughts on this; if not stop commenting. That’s not an order, it’s a valid observation from this VishramikaGambadaIngiriIskoleMahaththaya whose thinking is much more multi-dimensional than yours.
      .
      I wish you deep and happy cogitation!
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (B.A. Hons) Winner of the Leigh Smith Prize for English, 1985, University of Peradeniya

      • 1
        0

        Dear Panini, I presume the “1985” is a typo? If not, this would mean that you were 37 when awarded the Leigh Smith Prize for English, at Pera.

      • 0
        0

        Dear Easton Scott,
        .
        No typos.
        Let me provide you with a link to an article written by a guy who was in the University with me. You will find it interesting. Given the debates about standards, backgrounds, sociology and responsibilities, it’ll provide you with many insights.
        .
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/ashley-and-me/
        .
        I assume that you will navigate there; consequently providing more details will be superfluous. There are two pages of comments, and if you get on to the first page, you will realise that I hadn’t had much to do with the author whilst in the University. Subsequently we have met, and become friends. It was a hectic time, and I was into lots of things other than academic work.
        .
        This is the guy who won the 1984 Prize.
        .
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/for-qadri/
        .
        His wife is Shreen Saroor who writes in CT about MMDA. That was a large batch; had UGC Chairman, Professor Stanley Kalpage, been more accommodating I could well have joined them. With what result? I don’t know. Some of them were very bright, and the competition may have spurred me on to achieve more.
        .
        My batch was mediocre. Any more queries?
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe

  • 9
    2

    Admiral Colombage might be an untrained, boorish, hillbilly for a FA secretary position, if the government is not neo-Hitler administration. There is a saying in Tamil, whoever could husk it, all you need is only the rice. Our Demelu Pario Dr. Jaishankar came to the position with a lot of bells and whistles. After Thero de Silva wrote some notes about him here in CT, I checked about him. One essay described him almost as Mrs I. Gandhi’s best diplomat Dr. Parthasarathy. He came to Lankawe to finalize the already negotiated West Container Terminal. Lankawe boors asked for the very first shot of Covid-19. Until then they had not seen Covid-19 vials. India. Almost immediately I felt a shortage of it at that time. But he went to Delhi, shipped 500K vials free and promised to sell another 1M at $5, each. Lankawe stopped the port to the Indian Merchant as per China’s request. Threw away Jaishankar’s promise and bought from China for $15 a vial. Even Bangladesh had bought from China at $10. Dr. Jaishankar could not make even one deal with Lankawe that India wanted. But the Lankawe Columbages negotiated all what they wanted from China. So, what more does India’s best diplomat (FAM) know better than Lankawe’s Columbages?

  • 6
    0

    What does the point of a woman fight for more than one sovereign Thali Kodi with her parents, while they could not find a man to marry her? Her parents are so weak, so they could not find one. So, ?…….. 55% of the Parliament MPs are not even high school graduates. They got Oxford, double PhD, GLP as the FAM(Karumam). They Have a double PhD Prime Minister. They have a PhD President and recently, he said he is working on his next one. That all is not enough to jewel the crown of 55% non-high school parliamentarians? What do they do differently than Colombage does? When JR wanted an EP constitution, they 100% supported it. When Chandrika and Ranil wanted, they supported 17A. When the Old King wanted 18A, they 100% supported. When Ranil wanted 19A again, they supported 100%. The King wanted the 20A, the ever generous 8th grade gangsters stretched out their hands once more. So, could I ask a question, what Colombage has to do, over and above these blissful actions? If the woman cries for bigger Thali Kodi, the parents may worry that their foolish daughter is going to miss a good chance and they would run around to borrow some money and make the Thali kodi big, only if they have a good man on their hand. Is Colombage is not fit to lead these 8th graders? Come on Guys!

  • 7
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    Sinhala man, my idea is only an hypothesis- – as we think in a language , perhaps that language also fashions or at least modifies our thoughts,
    English speaking countries all over the world seem to have done well . It is not only English, certain other languages seem to have helped those countries to progress.
    I think it is very difficult for one culture(language) to copy and adopt institutions/models developed in another culture( language ) such as Parliament, European legal system, public service, police behaviour, media etc. In our country , all these things are functioning in all most an opposite direction.
    Our culture ( language) one time had a strong feudal system with a good agriculture base. Can it also produce an industrialized, democratic culture with a rule of law ? We have to wait and see. For how long ?
    I think our language is kind of poetic, with an inclination to exaggerate . I feel telling an untruth is easier when the language is lose and given to hyperbole.
    I also feel China for instance will always be more efficient in whatever they do than India.
    Why ? I wish I had the answers.A Sinhala mind perhaps will give the answers easily.

    • 0
      0

      Dear deepthi,
      .
      Thanks
      for giving me the opportunity to present you with a few telling observations, but not here: let me place them under yesterday’s article:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/pandora-papers-icijs-questions-to-nirupama-rajapaksa-thirukumar-nadesan/
      .
      That will also be of interest to nimal fernando, who posed us a question elsewhere. For two days now I have submitted nothing; I’ve been reading and listening, and I have found some fascinating material. But you must show discernment.
      .
      What we need are good rulers who leave their country much better than they found it. I’ve come across, for the first time, English speech by this wonderful dictator, who led for 49 years and died only in 2020. In a sense, I know at first hand because I worked in his country. I didn’t meet him; he had absolute power, I was small fry. What I first heard him tell Ronald Reagan was disappointing, but then I came across two more Youtubes. They are wonderful, if you focus. I’m sure that very few readers would have heard them.
      .
      And by way of contrast, there are others who speak English with perfect British accents, but whom Pandora has now been shown to be knaves.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

  • 1
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    Sinhala man , also I have no paternalistic motive trying to make people think “intelligently” or any other way, as I think they should.

    I don’t think that is a good attitude because then I too will write with motives.

    I like to write honestly, as I see the situation.

    My perception may not suit many, however that is how I see what is happening before me.

    • 1
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      deepthi, (What gender are you? I think that the name is carried by individuals of both genders.)

      Your honesty makes it easy to communicate with you.
      .
      There’s more that I will say tomorrow. I’ll put it at the very bottom.
      .
      By now, you will realise that some of your perceptions are not accurate.
      .
      Readers, this is what deepthi said two weeks ago: ” May be now (you are) a dual citizen living in a Western country ! ” See it towards the bottom of the comments here:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-maligned-lakshman-shock-patient-will-die-unless-the-new-governor-diffuses-it-forthwith/
      .
      However, he/she is a good egg. She admits that she got that wrong, because I live in the Province that has the Veddas in it.

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    Just look at these dumb hillbillies from the south, they are a sight to watch. What a disgrace, finally Sri Lanka has produced a set of circus clowns to lead the nation directly into the hands of bankruptcy.

    • 0
      0

      /b>This article has been brilliant, but now there are so many other developments that not many more comments will get added here.
      .
      It looks as though the rogues are going to get their comeuppance at last.

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