30 May, 2024

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Ranil’s Strategic Manoeuvres: But Global Capitalism Is At A Tipping Point

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

A number of factors constrain the functioning of capitalism, at least in the form in which we have known it for about three centuries; the world has reached a tipping point. I am no starry-eyed dreamer forecasting imminent socialism nor a youthful romantic swayed by visions of instant revolution. My case is more plastic and prosaic. I only argue that population dynamics in most parts of the world (Western Africa may be an exception), the change of lifestyle intrinsic in modern technology, exploding productivity (including digitisation, IT, AI, Chat GPT etc), the dire threat of global warming unanimously forecast by the scientific community and its consequences, and environmental degradation cum loss of biodiversity, all of this taken together predicates that an economic arrangement propelled by profit as its raison-d’tre cannot coexist comfortably with this emergent world.

The Sly Fox and the Guiltless Tortoise

To put it simply I will try to show that de facto twenty-first century social boundaries and an economic order whose primary rationale is profit are in conflict. Capitalism, propelled primarily by markets and profit contradicts the emerging rationalities of the planet. Capitalism as we know it is on life support.   

Population: The broadly held view is that the world’s population is too large. In response to this China launched its one-child policy half a century ago and Rajiv Gandhi offered transistor radios as a gift to males who agree to neuter their marbles. (My guru Professor R.H. Raul took the trouble to explain: “This in nonsense you must spade females; castrating males is pointless. If you miss one randy fellow, every bitch in town will be loaded. But every sterilised bitch is one litter less every season”). Demographics cries out for population control but market economics counsels that declining population equals falling demand. What they mean is that the consumer base for the sale of output, and hence realising surplus value, is constrained. Without a market into which goods are sold there is no way that owners of the means of production (capitalists in simpler terms) can gather profits. This is the reason why population decline frightens the captains of capital.

The Communist Party of China, the champion of one-child practices, has done a volte-face and is encouraging population growth in part to enable Provincial Governments and Chinese capitalists to enhance economic market activity. It is, of course, also in part to offset practical problems that an aging population creates such as the need for care-homes and family income pressures arising from an inverted demographic profile when women enter the work force, choose to pursue education or to breed less. 

Similar factors are at work all over the world both in developed and poor nations. In some instances, like the USA and Scandinavia it is the practical problems of an inverted population pyramid that is troubling, but in others, it is the realisation of profit that is the concern of capitalist governments and main-stream (bourgeois) economic apologists. 

Technology and productivity: True the bourgeoisie has in its brief reign created marvels that put Egyptian pyramids and Chinese Walls to shame. The capitalist mode of production has created conditions that render capitalism itself redundant. The same is true of every previous mode of production the world has passed through. However, the vestiges of all prior social orders remained visible after its demise – for example the remnants of feudalism are visible even in contemporary land tenure. The capitalist mode of production is a powerful one and its rationale will linger long after its domination of society is past. For example, the rationality of competition in efficient distribution of productive and natural resources (what a mess the Soviet command economy made of things), and its easy compatibility with social democracy (China, Cuba and Venezuela are counter examples). Vestiges of the capitalist mode of production will survive till mankind escapes from “the domain of necessity to the domain of freedom”, or to put it in less grandiloquent terms, for a long time. 

To return to down to earth technology, IT has come into powerful prominence. One simple yardstick is that large numbers of “arts” degrees in Sri Lanka’s universities now offer an add-on IT option; an IT-minor as it is called elsewhere. Technology is creeping in through every pore. (Unlike the chemistry, physics and biology labs of conventional science, even resource inhibited village schools can offer microprocessors and a small software budget) and younger generations of science teachers are not technology dumbos. The next generation will be techno savvy. My regular three-wheeler driver is damned smart with his handphone in navigating the internet, downloading stuff, knowing when to turn mobile-data on or off and things that were unknown at the time I retired from the engineering deanship of Hong Kong’s largest Engineering Faculty 15+ years ago! 

The relevance of all this to my column today is that thanks to the productive powers immanent in social labour and in human ingenuity, and the drive of the capitalist mode of production (thank you) humankind has arrived at a stage where its ability to produce material commodities has brought it to the brink of plenty. Enough milk, butter and agricultural commodities can be produced to feed all the world’s hungry, but cannot be produced because the market will crash due to super abundance and capitalism will self-negate its existence! What a paradox? I should have entitled this essay ‘The Theatre of the Absurd’. 

President Ranil’s strategy and the NPP-JVP: I would like to move the discussion a little nearer home and the contradictions and constraints facing President Ranil Wickremesinghe (RW) on one side, and social-democrats and leftists on the other side, as the former attempts to fit into formulae prescribed by the IMF and wriggle around an election dilemma. IMF dictates make RW unpopular with the poor but they are clear-cut. An example is that as I predicted long ago the rupee may strengthen to better than 280 to the dollar in the next period. Nevertheless, RW cannot postpone Local and Provincial elections indefinitely; his excuses have already made him an object of ridicule. He seems to have zeroed in on of holding Presidential Elections by about the end of this year as his best strategy. This requires a constitutional amendment to advance the election which is due only in November 2024. 

If the ruling parties go along with this gambit and endorse the amendment, can RW defeat the NPP (National Peoples’ Power)-JVP candidate Anura Kumara Dissanayake? RW has the support of the elite, the business community, some minority voters, and urban and rural conservatives. Anura will make a strong showing among youthful voters, less privileged castes in certain provinces, radicalised middle-class intellectuals and leftists. It is too early to make predictions but let’s watch how the campaign hots up if RW secures his constitutional amendment. He will of course promise the Rajapaksas the sun and the moon and assure the clan that Namal will be the post-election prime minister and the next presidential candidate. However, the moron can be undercut at the right moment. There are wheels within wheels.   

The NPP-JVP’s dilemma is its glaring inability to produce a programme. Many people, this writer included have been demanding a draft for months. Interminable procrastination makes it clear that the NPP is incapable of writing programme on its own. There are comrades and associates of the NPP who can help it to produce intelligible to ordinary people drafts of say 10 pages on any and every critical topic. Jayampathy Wickremeratne (JW) and Lal Wijenayake for example can readily prepare proposals for constitutional amendments; both have been involved in drafting national constitutions.  JW belongs to a study circle which should write a 10-page document for wide public education about necessary constitutional changes. We have had a 21-st Amendment, a 22-nd Amendment and I don’t remember what else. The pubic is lost in this asinine maze. 

There are youthful economists well qualified to submit economic plans to the NPP’s governing body but they are politically immature and incapable of writing credible programmatic documents. There are dozens of sympathetic economists and technologists, who if they get down to it, can prepare useful drafts but again they are political novices. It’s high time the NPP sets in motion teams to prepare proposals for submission to its decision-making council. Nothing is being done; the NPP is paralysed.

RW’s fear that the NPP-JVP will do better at a parliamentary election than any coalition he can cobble together is correct. Analysts envisage a plurality of seats, say one-third or more, going to the NPP-JVP, and say a quarter of the seats in Parliament to a RW-SLPP alliance. These analysts are dismissive of prospects for Sajith’s SJB – maybe a dozen seats. If we remember that about 25 seats will be won directly by Tamil and Muslim parties, over all the maths adds up to 225. 

So, are we looking at a hung parliament? Well that’s the talk and it makes the NPP’s ability to splice together a well-constructed, credible, programme with broad appeal doubly important in winning over allies in the next parliament if it fails to secure an absolute majority by itself as may be the case.

The JVP’s attitude to the minorities is immature. Anura spoke at a well-attended meeting in Jaffna recently and was pleased as punch that the bigwigs of Jaffna politics were in attendance on front row seats.  The JVP seems to have made the jackass assumption that Tamils will vote for it in droves even if it says nothing about devolution, redressing grievances of Tamils and Muslims, returning to their owners  private Tamil homes occupied and trashed by the military, and the nagging issue of the “disappeared”. The legislation proposed by the RW government to replace the PTA is more draconian than the original. One-time Tamil militants have been imprisoned interminably on flimsy grounds but Anura has made no promise that a JVP government will release them. 

Repealing Sinhala Only legislation and repealing the chapter on Buddhism in the Constitution are more complicated. In the interim RW, the shrewd old fox, has issued a flurry of executive orders designed to show the minorities that he is concerned about their worries. Unfortunately, some minority community voters outside the North and East will buy it. The UNP is by far the party of anti-Tamil pogroms (e.g. the 1983 carnage) and the patron of racist cultural outrages (burning the Jaffna Public Library) but because of the influence of conservative Tamil leaders and the gimmicks of the community’s upper castes many Tamil voters follow slavishly.

Neither the UNP nor the JVP will get many Tamil or Muslim votes in the principal areas of these people’s domicile (people will vote for their own kind). In other areas minority communities may vote for RW and/or the UNP because the JVP is making a jackass of itself as mentioned two paras above. As an NPP member I find it depressing. I hope the NPP grandees will bistre themselves and wake up.

[Unspecified apology: Last week in my piece on Edible Economics I borrowed a longish passage about the USA form some source, I cannot recall what source or what portion, nor did I place it within quotation marks. Apologies to my readers, the lost source and anonymous author]

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Latest comments

  • 6
    1

    The writer Prof. Kumar David states: (refer to the last paragraph) ” In other areas……JVP is making a jackass of itself…..” (PS: JVP is now affiliated with NPP and represented in Parliament as NPP MPs)

    Following that conviction, he says: ” As an NPP member I find it depressing”.

    I am compelled to ask you “PROFESSOR” Why are you still a member of that “JACKASS” party (JVP/NPP)? Is it because you are also one of those “JACKASSES” who think “JVP/NPP” is fertile ground for survival?

    • 3
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      May be he finally understood the truth about the nature of 89-92 barbarians.
      These are good signs btw. 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

      • 2
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        Dear LM: Some more to be understood of the “89-92 Barbarians” who have come to “RULE” this country even as of today.

        • 2
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          Dear Simon,
          .
          I wish I could know what you mean me to understand more of 89- barbarians:
          The truth is, every time I go back to my motherland, I get really upset that I can’t visit the victim mothers who lost their sons “like-me” during that brutal period. They look at me with tears in their eyes. What can I do to comfort them, except to say nothing and maybe not hurt their wounds more? I have been doing this for 30 years. I am someone who cares about others, even though some idiots try to paint a different picture of me. Those elderly parents have no one to share their heart. A nation that failed to serve justice in that barbaric country.

          I prayed it would never happen again, however, the MEDAMULANA crime ended up being even worse. So my thoughts are not naive, but I am a deep thinker and I am at the crossroads now, and cannot see how this nation will ever achieve their goals.

          • 4
            1

            Dear LM: For you to understand more of the “89 Barbarians”, I would urge you to read through the “Batalanda Commission Report” which could be had on Google. It runs from pages 1-164. I am certain you will understand “More” (in addition to what JVP did which you already know)) of the “Barberic” way “Rani W” got involved and the “Killing Feild” (Torture Chamber) he established. I have the printed report with me because one of my friends (I withhold that name) was most savagely and brutally “Killed” at this “Batalanda Torture House” on “Direct” instructions from “Ranil W”. So I too have “Heart Burns”, like you. More than that, I too suffered immensely and “Escaped” death miraculously. (do not wish to give details).

            My endeavor is only to “KICK OUT” all those “BARBARIANS” (whom you continue to hammer and “Support” some of them too) who are still in power and continue to “GRAB” power and “CHANGE” the course. No MORE AGAIN.

            • 1
              1

              A most convincing rebuttal, Simon!
              .
              But you haven’t given the links, my dear chap. I know LM much better than you! He’ll say he couldn’t find these links.
              .
              I’ve googled and got these results:
              .
              An English explanation:
              .
              https://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6aabc8.html
              .
              But the text itself is here:
              .
              https://ia801309.us.archive.org/8/items/BatalandaCommissionReportSrilanka/Batalanda-Commission-Report%20-Srilanka.pdf
              .
              One hundred and fifty nine (159) pages of PDF in Sinhala. I’m not reading it, but LM claims to be a Sinhala scholar, and pours scorn on me for being unable to read patiently, and to write Sinhala. How to write in Sinhala when my keyboard doesn’t have Sinhala?
              .
              But “leelagemalli” relishes using our “mother tongue”. Let him translate all this into English or German. Perhaps the latter. You see, I have the feeling that his German is better than his English. Well given the quality of his English, that is more likely, isn’t it?
              .
              Further step by step suggestions will follow when LM requests further helpful instructions, as requested.
              .
              Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela

              • 2
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                S-M: Thank you very much for giving that link. “LM” knows Sinhala well. Hope he will at least take the trouble to read from pages 155 onwards. This is not undermining the relevance of the contents of the other pages. Why only “LM”? It must be read by all citizens of this country.

                My only grudge is no Government that came to power did anything to follow up on the “Recommendations” of that report.

                If all other reports that followed or preceded were considered by any Parliamentary Select Committees, and appropriate action this country would never have fallen to this degrading level. We have gotten rid of very many of the “Rouges” and “Criminals” involved in Governing the country.

              • 1
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                Yes, Simon,
                .
                It is high time we all decided
                to understand what others are saying, and remember that the task before us is to sincerely communicate with those who may think differently.
                .
                I have now read only those last few pages of the report, but as you say, all readers (including those who don’t know any Sinhalese) ought to note that the report exists, but is ignored. Not everyone can listen to all AKD’s speeches, but time and again he acknowledges the mistakes they made. It is true that he also says that there is another (Batalanda) side to all that happened, but then he says that they will never make those mistakes again. I’m not going to start linking readers to those old speeches. Suffice that many say that they don’t want me to provide the links again proves that I have given them at the appropriate time.
                .
                There isn’t much purpose in our adding reams of comments unless we are willing to modify our own views. I’m not asking anybody to exactly share the same views as mine, but please be willing to take account of what I say. I hope that LM, and others, will look at what you guided me to. You don’t have to “get converted” by us. Just acknowledge our sincerity.

            • 3
              0

              Dear Simon,
              .
              Thanks to you, we have completely different opinions about Sri Lankan murderers.
              .
              No matter what anyone says or does, we citizens must choose our leaders from among “murderers, rapists, BITTE racists, money launderers and other crooks.”

              I left the country for Europe after escaping the barbaric period of 89-92, we started to present a petition against the Premadasa regime. Premadasa acted similar to Mahinda Rajapakshe by displaying his extra vaganza ” celebrations ” throughout the country. Gam Udawa and matchbox size houses being provided to the poor etc came in to being in that period.

              However, after some time, the same people in that hell supported a person who was a thousand times worse than Premadasa, who deceived stupid Sri Lankans of all walks of life and became the “popular leader”. Who is to blame?

              • 1
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                cont.
                .
                Anyone can become JANAPRIYA in our hell today.
                Even any criminal in Sri Lanka who turns media scammers upside down can become “popular”. Please watch it below – a fake story turned into a hot story, but the main character of the story is not murdered, but lives alive today. Naya DERANA TV made it hot news.

                DELITH JAYAWEERA should not be HANGED for MEDIA crimes ?

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ktd5YIg6dQ

                The lawless behavioiur against media fraudsters is public secret in this country today.
                :
                In such a situation, who is less evil? Is it JVP according to you?

                According to me, except the JVP led groups all have studied their profiles in depth.
                Reply

                • 2
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                  Requesting us to listen to those 6′ 53″ was fair, and I accept that there are fabrications of this sort.
                  .
                  What I’ve similarly asked of you, LM, is that you recognise that people like AKD have not committed such crimes. On the contrary, he consistently calls upon his followers to eschew racism, religious bigotry and viloence . He may not be in a position to make all the specific promises that Kumar demands. I have checked with two Jaffna friends, and they say that this Kumar article is justified. However, without getting angry with my Jafffna friends for their views, I still don’t think that Kumar should “let the side down”.
                  .
                  But LM, you’ve got to look at some of the things that you have said that are exaggerations; and you must forgive. And that means not allowing those bitter memories to colour your attitudes to the present situation.

                • 2
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                  And in the present situation, you are depending on fellows like the two ministers whom you see in these 7 minutes:
                  .
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3WW_jF0gbE
                  .
                  Bandula Gunewardena I have never met in person, but Keheliya I know. I have had my say about them (using my name) below the YouTube.
                  .
                  By way of contrast, see these ten minutes of Dr Harini Amarasuriya in Parliament.
                  .
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Bzhcuwky3A
                  .
                  It is mostly in English, which will be user-friendly for those reading here. Harini rightly uses Sinhala in Parliament, but here after four minutes she realises that she’d better use English to get her message across effectively.
                  .
                  Isn’t it also a bit amusing!
                  .
                  Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 483111444V)

              • 0
                0

                Dear LM: You say: “No matter what anyone says and do we citizens have to choose our leaders from “murderers, rapists, BITTER rapists, money launderers and other crooks”.

                You may be doing that. But large MAJORITY have, this time decided to deviate from that principle. “IF” an election is held you will see that DIFFERENCE. That is the very reason, these “Murderers, Rapists, Money Launderers, and other Crooks” are not holding elections”. Only those who SUPPORT these vagabonds are against holding elections.

                In your petition to Premadasa, did you care to mention his “BLACK CAT” killing brigade – the para-military killing force established during that “88-89”? Never mind, “HE” (the Majesty) paid a heavy price later. That is called “DITTA DHAMMA VEDANEEYA KARMA” – the SUPREME LAW of NATURE.

    • 6
      0

      “The NPP-JVP’s dilemma is its glaring inability to produce a programme. Many people, this writer included have been demanding a draft for months. Interminable procrastination makes it clear that the NPP is incapable of writing programme on its own.”
      Exactly true. The JVP is good at making broad promises, but is shy on detail. It may promise an “efficient” state corporation sector, but doesn’t say how. Is it going to reduce the exorbitant perks that its own unions negotiated? Will it send home redundant employees?
      The JVP says it isn’t against private education, but its own student unions trashed SAITM and still want SLIIT and NSBM closed down.
      The IMF solution, even though it is cruel on the poor, is the only practical solution, and the JVP knows it. The other solution is to cut all ties to the outside world, produce everything here (which won’t be much) and live a spartan life . Leave the IMF, WTO, GATT, ban all imports (which of course means nobody will buy our exports).
      Yes, if that’s the real JVP plan, it would work, but how long would the people tolerate it? 18 months?
      It says a lot about the NPP that one of its own members doesn’t know what its programme is.

      • 2
        0

        O C ,

        You got the first ‘Like’ from me for saving bulk of my time ! I think
        this is the first time I noticed the writer added some real value to
        his thoughts . It is not hard at all in Srilnkan culture for blasting off
        someone for not doing something , especially in politics . That is
        the most effective tool no one misses and JVP could be the best .
        And now , people grow larger in numbers to feel that the JVP/ NPP
        will not walk the talk and only good Loud Speakers . JRJ made
        Srilanka heavily dependent on Exports and Foreign remittance
        while locals were made to rely on cheaper imports to match exports .
        Globally imports are facing tough times meaning exporting
        countries face difficult times . JVP thinks , attacking the current
        system is the new system change ! NO , A BIG NO . People want
        real solutions for their grievances and you come up with them
        without going round shouting about the wounds !

      • 3
        0

        OC,
        .
        Some hero-worship without knowing the basic facts while others do it irresponsibly.
        To them today AKD saranagagachchami to the manner 2019-forces misled by ” GOTA SARANANG gachchami”.
        Some of our seniors usually smash their head by going to ADAM s peak just because other do it. When they come down after having had a their prayers done, they see their skulls turn hurts, some with swells others with various other symptoms.

        Likewise, our men with so called self-proclaimed qualification about English and other literiture, do the same excercise in various fields. That is very commmon in CT today.

        Unfortunately, this is far more common in our hell full of stupid people than the rational thinkers.
        That is why our beloved MF keeps away from CT today.

    • 4
      0

      Simon et al@ enlighten the readership why u think JVP/NPP could do what Medamulana thirisannu failed !!!! Thogh they were given 🤔 all the mandate one needed. Also they had Viyathmaga to guide them. Truth as it is,both people and politicians are corrupted as nowhere, whoever whatever being said and done against., we should see the truth as it. Is it that easy as inexperienced JVPrs assume, to make real change ? knowing that almost 99% of srilankens are stupid as no others?

    • 6
      5

      Kumar,
      .
      I too find your attitude here depressing. AKD is doing all that he can, but History and the lack of Tamil speakers are hampering the NP.P.
      .
      How can you possibly endorse the manoeuvring by Ranil? I don’t think that I’ve seen a video of AKD’s speech in Jaffna, translated a sentence at a time.
      .
      I’ve made a point of listening to every significant speech by AKD. You cannot ask him to do more than he is doing. Not once have I heard him pandering to typical Sinhala/ Buddhist sentiment. In a comment below this, “Jack” has shown appreciation of how well AKD has been conducting himself. He is the only politician capable of tackling all the corruption in the country.

  • 6
    2

    The only reason capitalism came about is because Europeans were able to exploit peaceful civilizations of places like ours of the East and steal all our resources and knowledge. America continued it as they had no other resource after destroying the Native Indian traditional farmland and heritage. So they had to capitalize on the inventions they created and the money left over by the former Colonizers.

    Nothing else is left but space tourism and exploration – but there is no resource out there that humans can capitalize on other than the excitement of it – no alien civilizations to exploit to bring back goodies to the earth.

    Also there is AI, but like Crypto, by the time Ranil spends billions of the hardworking-suffering-Lankan-workers $$$ on it, it will be outmoded and discontinued because humans need jobs.

    While the world is attempting to share resources at this time as the Newest World Order of finance, our Ranil is glowering in his plans of Sri Lanka first in Capitalistic Splendor!

    • 2
      1

      “Capitalistic Splendor!”

      We all enjoy “Capitalistic Splendour”, Ramona! ………. Where would we be without it? :))

      I sure don’t want to live in pseudo-non-capitalist joints …….. like Cuba, Russia, China, Vietnam, North Korea, ……. and in, on and off capitalist/socialist Lanka run by capitalists pretending to be socialists/commies.

      The only person who still wants to live in the ol’ proletariat-bliss is Old Codger …….. making sure, all the ladies get safely home to their husbands after work, on the 153 bus route, without being waylaid by Romeos along the way. You have got a good man there!


      “steal all our resources and knowledge.”

      Well, at least they left something in return. ……. if not ……. Sinhala_Man would have now climbed a tree and speaking sign-language ……. it wouldn’t have been all that bad: there would’ve been peace in the forum …….. and the world!

      • 3
        0

        Nimal,
        You should go easy on what they nowadays call the differently-abled. Some of them are very imaginative.

      • 2
        1

        nimal fernando

        Let us imagine a scenario, in which you are on the street minding your own business but in possession of a Magnum 44, a Silambam Stick, a hand grenade, a piha kaetta
        ( Kandyan knife), a packet of chilly powder, ……. and you see the men listed below approaches you one by one:

        Ranil
        Mahinda
        Gota
        Basil
        Namal baby
        Kamala
        The Surgeon General
        Wimal
        Udaya
        Gnanasara
        Gnana Akki
        C V Wiggy
        Sambandan
        Sumanthiran
        Shenali D Waduge
        ramona Grandma therese fernando
        Chandrika
        Champa
        Sinhala Man
        Elle
        Gevindu


        ….
        ….
        ….
        AKD
        Tilvin
        Prof. Kumar David

        How would you act, react, …. towards them?

        • 0
          0

          I can’t even hurt a fly, Native. ……. Besides, they are all great people: look where they have got Lanka to.

          We are truly blessed!

  • 8
    1

    Thank you for the article. This kind of criticism against NPP is almost expected from traditionally educated middle class DON. It is his personal dilemma. May be there is a fear his ideas become irrelevant in well balanced society.
    He described NPP supporters as poor and radicalized middle class. This total nonsense. Any educated people against corruption will know who is corrupt and who is not. he also predict NPP supporters are low caste. I wonder why Kumar still hanging on to rapidly evaporating cast system.
    He wants NPP to give him 10 point program. They are already explaining there program’s in their rallies and meeting for which some privileged educated middle class men gone deaf.
    There is accusation the NPP attitude towards minorities is immature. Kumar should understand that NPP is not ethno party but party to rule whole country. it is addressing population at large not only Sinhalese and Buddhist as Kumat thinks. What Kumar’s mature Ranil and Mahinda was doing was cheating minorities for last few decades.
    Primarily, educated middle class should worry in to lesser extent is violence created by JVP some 30 year back ( BISHANAYA). they have move forwards. Other than Government induced violence there is no JVP induced violence for last 20 years. you should look at current MP”S in the 225 of parliament look at their party and conduct. It will be obvious 3 members of NPP will be excelling. Grow up Guys.

    • 2
      3

      I mistakenly believed that the NPP was born out of the ‘aragalya’ but it is obvious to me now that it is a coalition of many, from trade unionists & academics to women’s rights & ‘bikkhu’ groups, to which, the JVP has given ‘leadership’. To me, its a pickle, & it is the acidity, provided by the JVP, that will be the taste, not the other ingredients that make up the pickle. The JVP has not changed & continues with its communist ideology & still openly venerates its murderous leader. The NPP has become its modern ‘friendly’ socialist face to harness the popular vote of those who have, correctly, lost faith in the mainstream parties.
      Cont.

      • 2
        3

        Cont.
        The JVP/NPP have a long wish list in their manifesto but lacks substance. A business plan, among other criteria, will never be excepted unless proposals are costed, the feasibility of investments & the time frame in achieving the objectives are clearly defined. The political manifesto is the ‘Business Plan’ of a political party & Prof. David also seem to have the same concerns as I have. However, political immaturity is no excuse. If they are suitably qualified, they should be capable of delivering. Today, with the Internet, research is easy & they can find inspiration from international political parties, such as, the Liberal, Conservative or Labour parties in UK, whose objectives, plans & strategy are in the public domain. If ‘the NPP is paralysed’ now, as Prof. David thinks, would they be able to ‘recover’ when in power?

      • 2
        2

        Dear Raj-UK, Your thoughts give me some relief time and again. I should reveal it to you that is why i am adding this comment.
        .
        No need to share, however I do, those of you who have lived in the UK for so long will know that the most basic thing about politics in a democracy is for any party to be able to respect the views of other parties.

        If the information is correct, we have more than 40 different political parties represented in Sri Lanka.

        When you work with various nationalities in Europe, if there is no such space to build consensus, we will not be able to succeed in our projects. Similarly, how can we achieve our goals for the benefit of masses, while keeping the radical JVP at the top is a million dollar question for me. What is your hearted opinion on this ?
        .

        Tbc

        • 2
          0

          cont.
          .
          So the failure lies in “the fact that we are not yet a mature enough nation to build a consensus even on issues that affect the nation as a whole.”
          .
          JVP dominated NPP ever got this quality ?I really doubt. I mean consensus building with different thinkers ? Pigs might fly .
          There they are zero winners. That is what we must focus on if we are to empower the next force to rule this nation.
          We did it once by getting caught in an empty vessel called Gotabhaya. It all backfired. Today people are dumb. They do not raise the question “why”. They are similar to stagnated baira lake.
          .
          Wasn’t it the main reason as to why JVP itself was marginalized for decades?- what have they changed in their party attitudes ?

          Let s see how did they respond, CBK administration which gave them the long awaiting opportunity ?

          They responded no different to srilankan ” sanga brigades” – srilanken sanga is similar to MYANMAR stupid buddhist monks. Sometimes even much worse than them. The harm srilanken buddhist monks committed in recent times are beyond estimation. They always misled the nation, by saying that foreign ” cat#s paw” work on our small island.
          The Sri Lanka Sanga Force is the true cancer of the nation. I am born into a sinhala-buddhist family, but I am against srilanken kind of buddhism today.
          Just think, if NON-VIOLENCE buddhism was our LEITFIGUR, things would definitely have worked out for the benefit of all walks of people.

          .

        • 1
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          LM
          I am not a political analyst & not always current with the situation in SL. However, it is said that the picture is seen better from the outside than from inside. Those of us who are domiciled outside SL in developed countries are used to a different work ethic where professionalism & integrity are not always prostituted, therefore, corruption, lethargy, mismanagement & incompetence are all unacceptable but many in SL may think of us as overbearing, wallowing in the misery of those suffering in SL. I would like to return to my country of birth to spend my final years & I would like to see a prosperous country, therefore, concerned about the current trend in politics.

          We have a habit of electing the opposition party at the elections, like changing pillows to cure the headache. The mainstream parties have letdown the citizens by nominating uneducated yobs, thugs, convicted criminals, even murderers but we have accepted them all without much of a murmur. Finally, the ‘aragalaya’ showed that enough was enough but it fizzled out & the JVP capitalised on the situation on the back of the NPP, a pickle of many groups with different objectives, & I doubt very much that such a coalition could work together on a single common good, compromising on their principals.
          Cont

          • 1
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            Cont.
            I am not convinced of the NPP intellectual capacity just yet, & AKD, although, I consider him as capable & above the average yob politician, where does he really stand with one foot in the JVP & the other in the NPP? NPP have not disclosed their funding for growth & investment strategy & at a time when SL is begging for funds, how many countries would provide aid & direct investment to a country with a ‘socialist’ agenda? That leaves RW as the other option & whether he forms a ragtag coalition with SJB & breakaways of PPP, SLFP etc, I think he is the better choice, provided he cracks the whip on corruption & weeds out undesirables. I lost faith in RW after the Easter bombing but in the current situation, I think the known devil is better than the unknown JVP/NPP angel, who would serve better in the opposition to keep RW & Co. on the straight & narrow.
            My fear is that the average voter, having lost faith in the main parties will vote for the JVP/NPP blindly, as with GR, based on assumptions.

  • 5
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    Nimal,

    Too many are suffering the effects of Capitalistic Splendor, which includes slum dwelling and climate change. And you can’t seem to figure out the emerging trends can you, that with all of the concreted structures having being built, together with all the airplanes, rockets, and covid vaccines, humankind has nothing more exactly to create other than space travel and AI (both of which are built for interests sake other than human sustenance)? No, the Colonists left nothing for us in return, other than heat producing concerted structures, polluting fast travel, viruses, destruction of our ancient farmland and forests…thank God our traditional religions and cultural heritages were preserved somehow.

  • 2
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    Almost anyone knows that “Anti-Capitalism” is ingrained in Prof Kum’s mind and body, apart from being a teacher of Engineering and an analyst of current affairs presented in his own flavor. Is damning capitalism the answer to challenges Sri Lanka face today? As usual we are complacent and let events overtake us instead of preparing for it for the best use of the society. Researchers of the Fourth Industrial Revolution warn all nations and communities to prepare for it instead of letting it take over us. In evolution and not revolution, remnants of the past linger. Even I made the mistake in taking for granted that “caste differences” would be a thing of the past in this 21st century Sri Lanka. Heavens! I learned that a political party here was selecting candidates for elections taking the “sensitivities of caste” into account. Your regular three-wheel driver! Even the six-year-old kid (of course smarter than the rest) of my neighbor knows all that. Prof. Kum turns himself to be a soothsayer in painting the future political scenario. I have heard political opinion of some who say that best for the country is a President Ranil and a JVP-NPP majority parliament.

    • 1
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      Good Sense,
      “Even I made the mistake in taking for granted that “caste differences” would be a thing of the past in this 21st century Sri Lanka.”
      Right, our society is adept at keeping these things well hidden.You don’t have to dig too deep to find out. Just read the matrimonial ads.

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