30 September, 2020

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Ranil’s Moment

By Malinda Seneviratne –

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Humility is probably the most powerful propaganda tool around.  It is also the least used, especially by politicians.  This is why Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe should be applauded for acknowledging that his party erred in July 1983.  He said that the then UNP government did not take adequate action to prevent the riots. 

Wickremesinghe referred to this as he urged the Government to make sure that matters be resolved before they get out of hand; the ‘matter’ being that of Buddhist-Muslim tensions in the aftermath of riots in Aluthgama and Beruwala.  Implied here is the notion that contrary to wild extrapolations, what happened last week was nothing like ‘July 1983’ but that this country might very well see a repeat of ‘July 83’ if issues are not addressed adequately and conclusively.

That’s another issue.  What’s interesting here is Ranil Wickremesinghe’s humility.  He was not only a cabinet minister at the time but as the nephew of the President widely viewed as heir apparent.  He lived through it all, silently.  But as they say, ‘better late than never’, after all it’s a lot more than other leaders have done, both in the UNP and in other parties.  The JVP, for example, still indulge in ‘mumblement’ when it comes to 1988-89 without clearly saying ‘yes, we killed some 3000 “informants”, close to 2000 “Government supporters”, almost 500 public servants, fifty principals of schools, one professor and one vice chancellor, over 500 members of the security forces and police, close to 100 home guards and 24 bikkhus’.

Ranil Wickremesinghe 1The same goes for the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).  D.B.S. Jeyaraj has for example called out the TNA for duplicity, loud in calling for investigations into alleged crimes by all parties (knowing the LTTE is no more and therefore the exercise is futile and even impossible and knowing that only the Sri Lankan armed forces are being targeted) but remaining silent about TNA’s complicity in LTTE crimes.  Jeyaraj elaborates thus: ‘The TNA never appealed to the LTTE to release the Tamil civilians under its control even during the height of the war, is yet to condemn the conscription of children and will not celebrate the lives of political colleagues brutally murdered by the Tigers.  Among other things, one might add.

The crimes of omission and commission of the SLFP and its later avatars, the PA and UPFA, and its allies (JVP, Karuna-Faction) and the many, many, many acts of thuggery including murder perpetrated by top ranked politicians of that party are well documented.  They might pale of course when compared to the ‘adventures’ of the JVP and UNP, but that’s no excuse.

The JVP will do (or will not do) this or that and that’s their business. The same goes for the TNA.  The same goes for the UPFA.  Ranil Wickremesinghe has come clean on the crimes of his party and in this he’s scored to the detriment of his detractors in the aforementioned parties and indeed those inside the UNP.  There’s a hitch though.  It is not the case that the only blemish of UNP rule between 1977 and 1994 was ‘July 1983’.  For each individual assassinated by the JVP the UNP regime oversaw the murder of at least 10.  Wickremesinghe has opened a door.  He must now walk through it all for selective humility is not humility but calculated political deceit.

No politician in this country, apart from perhaps Champika Ranawaka and Sarath Amunugama, is more qualified than Ranil Wickremesinghe to review those UNP years (1977-1994).  Wickremesinghe was in the middle of it all.  He has the intellect.  He has the analytical skills.  He has shown that he has the humility and therefore it is legitimate to hope that he has what it takes to enumerate and discuss dispassionately that era.  He can begin with the 1978 Constitution (which he has described as a document that has outlived usefulness), take us through the July 1980 strike, the ‘Accelerated Mahaweli Development Programme’, the ‘Green-Black July’ of 1983, the White Paper on Education, the Indo-Lanka Accord, the IPKF years, the bheeshanaya and his ascent to the post of party leader subsequent to multiple assassinations.

He will no doubt inform, illuminate and teach thereby all politicians in his party and elsewhere the difference between politician and statesman.  He has nothing to lose and everything to gain.  More importantly he would be setting an example, a standard that others would be judged against.  He will be rewarded too, by an electorate that has demonstrated time and again an amazing capacity to forgive and forget and to show particular affection to those who are humble.  The UNP will benefit, naturally.  The UPFA will be stumped because as incumbent the party would have to acknowledge ongoing errors (mild word, that) unlike Ranil, whose disclosures could be easily dumped into the account of JR Jayewardene and Ranasinghe Premadasa.

*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’ and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com

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Latest comments

  • 2
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    The whole lot of ’em can be as humilified as possible……….but the Core Reason for violence that has to be apologized for and corrected has always been missing.

    While we know that Tamils niched together to make profits away from the majority, and Muslims are doing so also and becoming even more Arabic while at it, Gosl’s throughout only knew/know how to use fascist-terroristic means to curb the minorities, but know nothing to actually help the suffering half of their majority race.

    The Core Reason for violence against minorities is the inability of Lion-Race hierarchy to define justifiable laws to up-lift and dignify their own Lion-Race. Indeed, they have always own rhetoric of fascism to hold themselves above even their own poorer brethren.

    • 5
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      Having watched THIS weeks#s satana, I believe that Ranil will succeed it in the days to come. I have no doubt in my mind, Ranil has all qualifications to lead this country towards the progress in now no war situation.

      Killing friendly talents inherited by Rajapakshes together with all collective forces though liberated the country from Ltte terror, today we the people are caught by a draconian terror tactics promoted by Rajapakshe. For them it seems no races are counted if they want to consolidate the power. All in all, they have become people#s butcher mindsets that this country ever heard sofar.

      • 1
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        Trouble with Ranil is to do with the 13th A. His policy is yet racial, like all of the SB governments. Fascism will remain rampant, but with Ranil, it will be a cut and dried solution. Literally! Country to be cut in two via 13-A, and then dried. SB brains that are even above the supposedly superior SB mind, to work in the West and trickle the synergy to the lesser SB’s (albeit superior) in Sri Lanka. The Muslim problem will still retain. With Rajapakse government, fascism is used as a home grown solution to uplift the poorer majority.

        Thus delusional about their own superiority, they all forgot the basics of good and clever government, and that the first step to being a superior race is to have respect and honor of other races’ brains. But Rajapakse is showing signs of learning.

        • 1
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          MS you are a joker in your parallel universe of Sinhala Buddhist Modayas..
          Ranil Wickramasinghe took 2 weeks to get to Aluthgama and Beruwela!
          He repeated his uncle JRJ’s act when the dirty deed were being done in July 1983 against the Tamils, and Ranil hid in the parliament of morons instead of going on the streets to meet the affected people and stop the violence in Aluthgama – when MR was on his Bolivia trip

          It is only now that the voice of civil society has been heard and spoken out that RW dared to go the Aluthgama. Both you and Ranil are shameless cowards and good for the Sinhala Buddhist Modayas who have destroyed Buddhism in the Miracle of Modayas!

  • 8
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    Malinda Seneviratne ,,
    Waht are you?

    a Shill?

    An Appeaser?

    What are you?

    • 0
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      Laptop

  • 2
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    What happened to Malinda suddenly?
    Guess I should read the article once again.

    • 1
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      Ravana,

      “What happened to Malinda suddenly? Guess I should read the article once again. “

      Don’t worry. The bugger has mistakenly swallowed Rat Poison instead of Panadol for a headache and now gone mad! He will return to the laundry sooner than later. In fact towards the end of his rubbish he has put his hand on the laundry pile. For the information of this stupid bugger I would like to remind that the Batalanda Inquiry was the mechanism that was set up to settle the matters raised by the writer which was established by your experts. Why ask now from RW? It was settled once for all under CB. If you have any problems why don’t you initiate the inquiry, it is your regime, your courts in power? We can imagine how much rat poison the bugger has swallowed when considering his claim of Chmapukaya the racist terrorist and Amudagamaya the trivial liar economist to be more suitable to look in to those matters. Terrorism and homicide is not only by brute force and physical but through words and ideologies and criminal involvement. How many have Champukaya and you Milindaya have murdered thus being in criminal accomplicehood with killer regime?

  • 0
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    Hope you have some special stuff handy, its going to be a loooooong wait!

  • 0
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    Why does CT insist on publishing the rubbishy smokescreens that this (PAID) stooge of the Rajapassas keeps vomiting to our disgust?
    Isn’t the fact that this …. won Sri Lanka’s premier prize for FICTION proof enough of who he is and what he does?

  • 5
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    Linda, that’s a barrow load of manure so try adding some cream to it.

    The lying race 卐 chameleon Linda says do nothing and look the other way when the violator is BBS.

    When you have an understanding of Trajectory Positioning Systems tell the world.

  • 1
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    .
    Malinda is the Chief Editor of the Nation.
    Mahinda is the Chief Commander of the Nation.

    Now, he wants to investigate Ranil too. Who ordered him to write this?

    :-)

  • 1
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    Malinda in his new avatar! as champion of Transparency/Accountability and statesmanship another welcome transformation.
    I wish him well in his new found zeal for truth and honesty.

  • 1
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    Malinda, whether I agree with what JVP in 88-89 is another matter. This article contains a bit of inaccurate information. I deplore their anti democratic approach but recently during an interview given in UK the current leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake apologized for the atrocities and killings the party has done during the time of late 80’s though I am yet to see the break down of rank and files of so called killed informants lost their lives under their barrels.

  • 3
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    “He must now walk through it all for selective humility is not humility but calculated political deceit.”

    How could there be calculated political deceit?!!! Was Ranil giving his autobiography? Or was he giving a comprehensive analysis of the UNP years? I thought he was simply discussing a historical event in the context of a current event. For example, if the Government introduces Sinhala only again, it would be logical for someone, say Chandrika, to apologise for her father’s Sinhala Only in 1956. That doesn’t mean she should talk about every act that SWRD did and give a comprehensive analysis.

    This is Malinda’s insidious excuse to criticise the UNP, TNA and JVP. Note how he does not list any of the present government’s failings. He simply says that there are failings. What is it then – selective journalistic deceit?

    S

    • 3
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      “What is it then – selective journalistic deceit?”

      He has graduated in political science under DJ and is now `Linda the Gunda` and has lost his Yankee feathers to the tea-braggers.

  • 1
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    I agree with Malinda on this point. Wickremesinghe has opened the door and he should walk through it. Perhaps Malinda’s list is too much, some falling on policy matters. What all opposition politicians who intends to go before the people in a big manner soon must do is to admit responsibility/mistakes particularly for any past violence directly or indirectly during their periods of administration, by their parties or their affiliates and completely desist violence and promise good governance. The UNP, JVP, TNA, present/future breakaways from the SLFP/Left etc. do come under this category. There is no point in asking anything similar from the present UPFA or its affiliates as they are fully responsible for the ongoing violence and ruthless administration.

    Humility is one of the most important political ethics/principles. It is probably a powerful propaganda tool also. But more than a tool, it should be emphasized as a principle or objective. Sri Lanka, or any country for that matter, does not need cunning or ruthless leaders. Humble but firm/principled leaders are better.

    • 0
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      but how UNP leader could ever win the hearts and minds of majority corrupted people – people that have made corrupted by Rajapakske abusive tactics ?

      The lies that the govt has spread on Ranil – that Ranil was pro separation of the country.. etc.. to transmogrify them it will take more energies from Ranils machineries.

      Plain truth as it is – no any leaders would agree with sepearation of the country.
      Going back to the days where CFA initiated by RW until it was violated by LTTE, did work properly no soldiers or the rebells claimed human losses in both sides. Just to remind the people only the victorious steps of the war is a calculated strategy of the govt to brainwash the nation and win them for their political survivial. This has been the case for the last few years..

      But those who have brains ( though the least folks) knows the facts and figures of RW.

  • 4
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    “Humility is one of the most important political ethics/principles.But more than a tool, it should be emphasized as a principle or objective.

    66 years of bullshitosis by majority is enough.

    A politician is one who speaks the truth and sandwiches them with lies- George Bernard Shaw.

    What is this science suffix?? Radar undetected is what SB are doing and think buying a few ambitious folk around the world is going to keep them afloat.
    Franco and LKY were both anti communist so they survived. SL taking on the Muslims because they don’t integrate is passa and familial only card which is misfiring because crusades between christian and Muslims is a common feature for over a 1k years- same stone for 3 faiths with gods.

    flight 370 with un-patented radar evasion chip 70 engineers and diego garcia are synonymous perfect to fuel limits.

  • 1
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    This is Malinda’s contribution to prevent Ranil contesting the presidential election and split the Sinhala-Buddhist voters – this is MR’s great worry now.

  • 1
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    The Milinda bugger comes up with about 6000 killings by JVP in exact numbers. How did the bugger obtain the figures. Well, he must be hauled to testify in a court of inquiry under a new government. Instead of blaming RW the clown must now go to Nav Pillai’s commission of inquiry and testify and vomit what he has said here. It is more useful to do it there in the international court than just dribble verbal diarrhea here, obviously. Secondly, compare to the facts and figures the bugger revealed here, he must have vivid memories, facts and figures of what happened after 2009. Is he going to reveal those things too?

    This MS looney says:

    “D.B.S. Jeyaraj has for example called out the TNA for duplicity, loud in calling for investigations into alleged crimes by all parties (knowing the LTTE is no more and therefore the exercise is futile and even impossible and knowing that only the Sri Lankan armed forces are being targeted) but remaining silent about TNA’s complicity in LTTE crimes.”

    But the bugger has no brains to understand that the present LTTE leadership is sleeping with his regime. No wonder the bugger was given the “Fiction Writer” award.

  • 0
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    What has happened to all the State men we had in our society ??
    The older cadre is gone. It is a sad story!!! That the present political generation
    forget that they have been Elected by the people to Govern the country for the people and to see that they make it a better place for the masses to live in. Ins stead we have a bunch of goons who are Corrupted, self centered and power hungry, filling their pocket with all the add that they get.
    Now the JVP Goons have again got into robes to protect themselves (like they did in the 70`s to hide from the Law) from all their criminal activities and disgracing the Buddhist culture. The fact is that we have been a multi cultural society then and now, and that was one of the reasons that we were proud off, to call ourselves Sri Lankans.

  • 0
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    Are Sri Lankan politicians humble? They are when in opposition and haughty when they ride in power. That is why there is some chance for an opposition to win power at a hustings.

    What is a hall mark of a politician who is not sure of his future? To say something and do something else. To say something you really don’t mean to do. Look for opportunity to hit at your opponents. Consolidate your position.

    There is always a change in attitude of persons with time. But unfortunately no one here ever changed for the better towards, honesty, integrity, excellence and good governance.

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