30 October, 2020

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Reflections On Paths Not Taken

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“Sometimes a pebble is allowed to find out what might have happened – if only it had bounced the other way.” ~ Terry Pratchett (Jingo)

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is unlikely to know the poem or the poet, but the sentiments would have been his as he watched Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni swearing in as president for the seventh time.

‘For all the sad words of tongue or pen,

The saddest are these: ‘It might have been!’’[i]

Mr. Museveni’s seventh consecutive investiture (he has been in power since 1986) was as controversial as the election he purported to win. A clamp down on dissent kept Uganda quiet and silenced the social media, the final frontier of dissent. His main opponent, opposition leader Kizza Besigye, was arrested, flown to a remote corner in the country and formally charged with treason. His crime was casting aspersions on Mr. Museveni’s victory and the charge carries the death sentence.Mahinda Uganda

Kizza Besigye is a member of what is known as the ‘Bush Generation’; a physician by profession, he was Mr. Museveni’s personal doctor during the guerrilla war which propelled the latter to power. Mr Museveni was once a popular leader (and a darling of the West) credited with bringing peace and stability to a war-torn country. He was initially critical of leaders who cling to power forever but changed his tune gradually as his political appetites grew. Mr Besigye was a key member of the Museveni government for more than a decade before joining the opposition.

During his seventh investiture, Mr. Museveni was surrounded by a phalanx of other long-ruled African leaders, leaders who have no intention of leaving power so long as there is a breath left in their aged bodies. Some of them nurse dynastic dreams (Mr. Museveni is accused of promoting his son as his successor); all of them rule over lands where democracy is a cover for one party rule and elections can have only one, utterly predictable, outcome.

Human beings tend to get used to the most atrocious of circumstances, with time. They can be taught to abandon ideals and dreams, and focus on survival and managing. Once the message of ‘support me and you will prosper; oppose me and you will suffer’ has seeped into the collective consciousness of a nation, popular dissent becomes near impossible. People try to get on with their lives to the best of their ability, allowing leaders to rule as they will.

Uganda seems to have reached this point of indifference. Ugandans are reportedly reacting to Mr. Museveni’s ‘victory’ with neither joy nor defiance, but lethargy; a shrugged shoulder rather than smiles or tears. “Ordinary Ugandans are not celebrating this, but neither are they grieving or protesting because there seems an inevitability of his dominance, even though the elections have been condemned by the European Union and other Western powers… Those who support Museveni have access to jobs and contracts, while his opponents are totally neglected… These sit-tight dictators also rule by fear, intimidation and violence. A mystique of life and death surrounds these presidents for life. They are demi-gods and political demagogues, whose words and wishes are commands in their countries. They are also vampires who suck up blood and life from their country and from their opponents. Uganda revolves around Museveni. He gives life and he can also give death, those who adulate him enjoy some portion of the national wealth, and those who loath or oppose him suffer.”[ii]

That was the path Sri Lanka was on, when January 8th intervened.

Mr. Rajapaksa’s thoughts would have been bitter indeed as he watched his brother-leader swear in for the seventh time. This was what he had in mind for himself. This was the future he planned for and worked towards. This was why he nullified the 17th Amendment, brought in the 18th, cowed the judiciary and repressed the media. This was why he effaced the lines of demarcation between state and ruling family.

Mr. Museveni could have been him. Uganda could have been Sri Lanka.

Mr. Rajapaksa went to Uganda with a substantial entourage of acolytes. His secretary is said to have written to the Foreign Ministry asking the government to defray the costs of this junket, including airfares, food and lodging[iii].

Defeat has not taught Mr. Rajapaksa any positive lessons. He still believes that he is the state/nation, and there should be no difference between public and familial finances. He still regards power as his due. The sole purpose of his politics is to push and cajole Sri Lanka into becoming a faux democracy again, a country in which a multiplicity of political parties, periodic elections and a parliament are nothing but props and camouflages for rule by one family.

Saviour-leaders and Salvationist Politics

In the US, Donald Trump, the orange-haired billionaire whose claim to fame includes a string of spectacular business failures, is about to become the official nominee of the Republican Party. Mr. Trump, in his obsessive desire to gain the presidency, has embraced Salvationist politics, portraying himself as the political saviour of white Christian Americans. In this advocacy of government of, by and for the ‘chosen people’, chosen on the basis of a primordial identity, Mr. Trump is no different from the Islamic State (IS) or fundamentalists of any other religion or race. From orient to occident, extremists of every race and fundamentalists of every creed have a similar aim – the purification of the land (reinen in the Nazi parlance) by evicting/suppressing the racial, religious or politico-cultural ‘Other’.

Religion and race form an important weapon in the arsenal of leaders for life. Mr. Museveni, for example, is an evangelical Christian who is identified with the powerful American sect, ‘The Family’. The Family is an ultra conservative evangelical church based in Washington DC and Mr. Museveni is said to be its key man in Africa.[iv] He uses ‘moral crusades’ to divert public attention from real issues and to demonise some of his opponents. Perhaps the best case in point was the punitive bill of 2014 against homosexuality (like in most parts of the Third World, homosexual ity was transformed from a private choice into a public crime by colonial rulers). Such campaigns enable leaders for life to change the focus on politics and public discourse from issues such as democracy, cost of living, poverty and corruption to ‘morality’. It is also an extremely effective way of displacing blame (some American evangelicals blamed Hurricane Katrina and its devastative aftermath on the immoral choices made by some Americans) and creating enemies.

In Sri Lanka, before Black July and the long Eelam War, there was the myth of the encroaching Tamil who was taking over ‘our’ schools, ‘our’ universities and ‘our’ government jobs. Today there are similar whispers about the moneyed Muslim who predominates in ‘our’ shops and ‘our’ holiday resorts. In between there was – and will be – grousing about the insidious Christian who is converting ‘our’ people. During their nine year rule, the Rajapaksas tried to exacerbate these phobias and benefit from them. That effort continues in the work of the Joint Opposition and its attempt to return Sri Lanka to Rajapaksa rule.

Prejudice and intolerance are not the preserve of one people, but the common bane of every race and religion. When the LTTE expelled Muslims en masse, very few Tamils protested. In some Muslim majority areas in the East, adherents of more extremist variants of Islam (especially Wahabism) attack and victimise fellow Muslims they consider to be improper Muslims or non-Muslims. Such facts are both undeniable and immaterial. The rights of minorities (or any discriminated community) should be protected and fought for not because they are good people but because they are people, fellow human beings like us. It is precisely this common humanity that extremists of every race, fundamentalists of every creed object to and deny. That denial – and the exclusionary politics based on it – forms an indispensable pillar of their power project.

American columnist Adam Gopnik in a recent piece itemised common characteristics of politics of salvation. “…an incoherent programme of national revenge led by a strongman; a contempt for parliamentary government and procedures; an insistence that the existing government….is in league with evil outsiders and has been secretly trying to undermine the nation; a hysterical militarism…; an equally hysterical sense of beleaguerment and victimisation;…failure, met not by self-correction but by an inflation of the original programme of grievances, and so then on to catastrophe.”[v]

And always the need for the enemy within and without, some enemy, the enemy who necessitates the existence of a saviour.

That was how the Rajapaksas ruled. That is how they plan to regain their rule.

But there is one precondition without which the Rajapaksa power project has little chance of success: economic pain of the masses. With its punitive taxes, the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration is busy delivering that crucial precondition to the waiting arms of the Rajapaksas.

Economics and Politics

Historically politics of salvation has achieved success almost always in times of economic discontent. When economic growth or recovery happens at the cost of the poor and the middle classes, when relative poverty increases deepening the gulf between the haves and have-nots, when solemn promises about economic relief are broken by politicians, alienation results. And alienation makes a segment of the populace vulnerable to appeals of extremism and to the inevitable searches for ‘scapegoats’. In multi-ethnic and multi-religious countries such as ours the extremisms are usually based on ethno-religious identities while the ‘scapegoats’ are naturally the ethnic/religious ‘other’. From that to instability and upheaval, violence and bloodshed is only a short step.

Dysfunctional economics is a threat to political stability and democracy. The unwillingness of major Western powers and international financial institutions to abandon their insistence on economics of austerity and to do for the Middle East what was done for the war-devastated Western Europe through the Marshall Plan played a significant role in the undermining of the Arab Spring and its replacement by a brutal winter of extremism. A somewhat similar drama is in the making in Sri Lanka. The government’s new economic regimen – imposed on it by the IMF – threatens to undermine its credibility and legitimacy, and enable the pro-Rajapaksa opposition to find its way out of the rubbish heap of history.

As economic austerity begins to bite, the Sinhala-Buddhist majority’s receptivity to the violently intolerant political creed of the Rajapaksa clique will increase. The Rajapaksas, like Donald Trump, will portray themselves, again, as the saviours of victimised Sinhala-Buddhists, betrayed by an ‘anti-national’ government which is on the side of the minorities, India and the West. That Rajapaksa gamble may or may not work, electorally. Either way, it will undermine the post-January 8th gains in the areas of democracy and ethno-religious reconciliation and turn Sri Lanka into a more divided, more intolerant and more violent land.

A UPFA parliamentarian who is a member of the pro-Rajapaksa Joint Opposition became the first to cash in on the vehicle bonanza – he imported a vehicle worth Rs.40 million and paid the princely sum of Rs. 1,750 as import taxes[vi]. Unfortunately such anomalies would matter little when atavistic fears rule and ethno-religious agenda is predominant. In any case, government members too will rush to avail themselves of this bonanza. The electorate does not expect honesty or probity from the Rajapaksa clique. But the government won by advocating a higher standard, and will be judged in accordance, come election time.


[i] Maud Muller by John Greenleaf Whittier

[ii] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stan-chu-ilo/musevenis-flawed-election_b_9349490.html

[iii] Columnist Dharisha Bastian reports that Mr. Rajapaksa’s secretary, Uditha Lokubandara wrote to the Foreign Ministry twice making these demands and that the Ministry has agreed to pay Mr. Rajapaksa’s airfare. She also points out that there is neither a law nor a tradition mandating such a payment for a former president on a private tour. http://www.ft.lk/article/542074/Old-habits-die-hard-for-Mahinda

[iv] http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120746516

[v] http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/going-there-with-donald-trump

[vi] http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=145050

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Latest comments

  • 24
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    Tisaranee,

    Reading your articles is a learning experience. Thanks.

    Dr.RN

    • 4
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      Tisaranee Gunasekara

      RE: Reflections On Paths Not Taken

      “Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is unlikely to know the poem or the poet, but the sentiments would have been his as he watched Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni swearing in as president for the seventh time.”

      Mahinda, an Incompetent and Fumbling Dictator? Is he from the South? “Veda Bari Wunath, Gama Galla.” Even if you do npot know the work, the Village is Galle (South)

      Really? Didn’t Mahinda Rajapaksa lose the 2010 Presidential Election to Sarath Fonseka, and Surround his Hotel?

      So, the “error” made by Mahinda, was not repeat it in 2015!

      Mahinda wanted to be a dictator, but he was a half-dictator. He was manipulated by his cronies and the Sinhala “Buddhist” monks.

      Read about his buddy…Uganda’s Museveni extends 30-year grip on power

      http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/12/africa/uganda-museveni-inauguration/

      Uganda’s Museveni extends 30-year grip on power

      President Yoweri Museveni, here at the U.N. in 2014, changed Uganda's Constitution to stay in office.

      Kampala, Uganda (CNN)It was meant to be a celebration. But after days of political protests, violence and arrests of key opposition leaders, the streets of Uganda’s capital were empty and the majority of businesses closed as President Yoweri Museveni was sworn in for a fifth term — extending his 30-year iron grip on power.

      Heavy security met party loyalists and visiting heads of state, including Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Bashir, wanted on war crime charges by the International Criminal Court, received loud applause from those attending after Museveni introduced him.

      “Forget about this ICC useless thing,” Museveni said. “Earlier we thought the ICC was useful, but to us, now African leaders, we see it is useless. It’s a bunch of useless people.”

      Museveni has been in control of the country since 1986. In 2005, he changed the constitution to allow himself to remain in office.

      Heavy security met party loyalists and visiting heads of state, including Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Bashir, wanted on war crime charges by the International Criminal Court, received loud applause from those attending after Museveni introduced him.

      “Forget about this ICC useless thing,” Museveni said. “Earlier we thought the ICC was useful, but to us, now African leaders, we see it is useless. It’s a bunch of useless people.”

      The lead-up to Thursday’s event in Kampala was met with strong government restrictions, including the detention of the opposition candidate, a heavy police presence and a clampdown on social media such as Facebook.
      A ban was also issued April 29 on all opposition activity around the inauguration by Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma.

      Longtime opposition leader Kizza Besigye, who has been under house arrest or government supervision since before February’s presidential election, was arrested Wednesday after hosting his own swearing-in ceremony in Kampala.
      Besigye encouraged others to “boycott the sham coronation.”

    • 4
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      Tisaranee Gunasekara

      RE: Reflections On Paths Not Taken

      Mahinda is going to Uganda for Advice and Consultations!

      Uganda happens to be in Africa. Are they capable of advising Mahinda? Let’s see.

      The average African IQ is 70 The average Sri Lankan IQ is 79.

      http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

      https://abagond.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/the-average-african-iq-is-70/

      Note: In this post “Africans” means just black Africans and IQs are on a scale where Britain = 100 and America = 98 in 2006.

      “The average African IQ is 70” is something you hear on the Internet. It means that black Africans have an average IQ of 70. Some put it lower at 67. It has become an article of faith among HBDers and other scientific racists.

      It is not just the Internet: it has appeared in at least 20 scientific papers and in several books and studies. It is what James Watson had in mind in 2007 when he said he was:

      inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa [because] all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really.

      The number comes from Richard Lynn, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Ulster. He took some studies where IQ tests were given to Africans, took the average and got 67.

      The number is suspect for a very simple reason: Africans do way better at school than you would expect from an average IQ of 67. Given their PISA scores and other measures of school achievement, you would expect an IQ somewhere near 82.

      As it turns out, Lynn’s 67 is based in part on children who lost points because:

      Some were not used to pencils and could not draw. One boy said it was the first time he ever drew a picture.

      Some were not familiar with line drawings.
      Some did not wear Western clothes and so did not draw people that way.
      Many did not know about telephones, tennis, dollars, miles or other things common in America.

      The main one: Most knew English only as a foreign language.

      On top of that, Lynn marked down some scores and did not say why or how:

      Boys in Uganda who averaged 86 Lynn marked down to 80.

      Zulu children in South Africa who averaged 89 were marked down to 74.
      From a study on Nigeria and Sierra Leone he took the two worst samples out of five. No reason given.

      Of the 42 studies he could have used, Lynn used 11. They had an average IQ of 67. The studies he did not use had an average IQ of 80. He gave no reason for his choice (though he did not seem to know about those that appeared only in African journals).

      There are good reasons to throw out some studies:

      The test was not properly administered.
      The test was not given in full.
      The test takers were not a representative sample.
      The test has known cultural biases.
      The test has not been tried on a broad Western sample, making it hard to compare.

      If you throw out all those you are left with 12 of the 42 studies. They have an average IQ of 81. Very close to the 82 expected from school achievement.

      That is where the Netherlands was in the 1950s if you take into account the rising IQs of the Flynn Effect – which seems to have run its course in the West but not in Africa.

      • 2
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        Having a high IQ does not necessarily translate to being intelligent. So stop comparing Apples and Oranges. It’s the same with the literacy rate. Being able to put letters together and form words there by reading doesn’t necessarily translate to understanding what is said and read. Judging by many of your rather ludicrous posts and responses I’m guessing you count yourself as one of these highly intelligent individuals with an IQ of 79. Stop using googles facts in order to look bright. Anyone ( including an IQ of 50)reading in between the lines can see high degree of overcompensation on your part. Brown Boy out !!!

    • 10
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      Dr. RN, I am amazed how TG manages to write about Museveni without referring to Congo and Rwanda. Museveni has kept Uganda intact while its neighbors went through worst genocidal wars known to mankind, and Museveni also played a key role in rescuing Uganda from Idi Amin. If you (Dr.RN) is learned as I think you are I would suggest you read about these Central African Countries…What TG cheers for is another South Sudan in Sri Lanka (Sir you may want to read about what happened in Sudan and what is happening now post partition), TG should be ashamed of cherry picking history. And even factually TG is incorrect (this is not Museveni’s 7th term), just because TG hates Rajapaksha and just because TG is intellectually challenged it does not give she/he license to misinterpret history.

      • 10
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        Inconvenient truth:
        Here’s a real “inconvenient truth” for YOU: Musaveni didn’t replace Amin. There was the “return” of Obote in between, the Obote that “the west” had replaced by Amin when the former was at a heads-of-state gathering in Singapore or Malaysia many moons ago.

        As for, “TG is intellectually challenged,” I’d suggest you give your head and whatever is supposed to be in it a good shake and go look in a mirror some time soon. Very soon. That is if your bruised knuckles (from perambulation) permit such an exercise.

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          [Edited out]

          • 1
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            DeepCut

            “[Edited out]”

            Brilliant.

            Thanks for keeping it brief.

        • 3
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          Couldn’t have said it better Emile. I think the inconvenient truth that we have to deal with is idiots like this on the loose making even more dumb ass statements. That Idiot MR totally took the bait and attended this inauguration. Now if only the mass media were to educate the Sinhala masses of this sly crow and his birds of a feather gang.

        • 2
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          poorrten
          Are you on a which hunt? You are making a mountain out of a mole hill by trying to pin point a no value piece of info.
          I don’t think IT had to talk about Obote because he as a western implant who did nothing worthwhile for Uganda other than he caused over 300,000 civilian deaths. What IT says about Musaveni is correct.
          Personal remarks in your last paragraph on IT is uncalled for and leaves a sour taste.

      • 3
        3

        InconvenientTruth: Even though you are in love with Rajapaksa and are intellectually, as well as ethically, challenged, it hasn’t stopped you from misinterpreting Rajapaksa’s many actions detrimental to our society.

        So stop pontificating and take a look inwards – if you can handle the (not so inconvenient) truth.

    • 3
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      Yes, it is indeed an ever learning experience alright but the question is; how and why is it that the truly and relatively more honest and able people of integrity like her keep writing about these which is excellent. Yet in an overall sense; why is it that the least moral (by any so-called religious and/or ethical standards), violently inclined and genetically and mimetically inclined low order humans (by humanistic standards) that are at the helm of power and authority?

      Has this something to do with us humans who are concurrently born into all the ages (stone to space) at different geographical and ethnic locations having not been properly educated and not fully extricated them from the monarchical mindset. Alas were not the monarchs of old now referred to as Royalty been mass murderers who plundered “the other” and enriched themselves and those loyal to them? The only exception it would have been justified being when they had to pre-emptively attack to defend themselves from “the other” potential enemy who was hell-bent and set on destroying them.

      Yet the much larger questions and issues at stake are what for and/or why does the all self-consuming Life & Living matter of almost all forms in almost all climes prevails-over through all the vicissitudes of time? Where to and to what end succeeds by the copiously, profligate ever reproducing in the tens and hundreds of millions of the ever-present cheap, weird, wonderful, wasteful, self-contradictory and self-destructive life?

      All forms of life are made up of so many aspects, facets and parts that are awesome, beautiful, stupendous, wondrous, moral, amoral, immoral and non-moral, as well as cunning, greedy, competitive, cooperative, ruthless, bizarre with even more adjectives and adverbs one would think of applying to it including being a never ending and forever deepening and widening source of an inexplicable and inextricable mystery to our limited and mostly incomprehensible brains and its own workings.

      Are not these gaps in our knowledge and understandings being exploited by the misled, misguided and deluded of all organised and non-organised religious, political and/or economic panacea by some cults and even most of the innumerable charities as well for their own primary and greater benefit of and for its founders, organisers and operators’?

      Even if the only saving grace of these service to others in need aspect too is doubtful and suspect when it’s obviously done with a knowingly and unknowingly deluded mindset for bettering one’s own so-called karma or the expectation of a better rebirth or be it in pursuit of a so-called afterlife and/or heaven from time immemorial. Alas! Are we and all life nature’s robots with varying degrees of intellect, intelligence, emotions, and sensations with an approximate 4% or in some circles considered to be even absolute zero free-will regarding which the search and research are and will be ever ongoing?

      Will scientific technology supplement, complement, augment and/or enhance biology for a better and truer reality for humanity and all life that is so cheap, abundant, persistent and resilient in its apparent endless quest for ever unique and bizarre prototypes whilst being also nature’s own nature (akin to the stage on which space performs) with its super-hyper intelligence concurrently with similar quantum of stupidity and self-destructibility whilst being a form of self-investment in itself for perpetuity despite nature having wiped out approx 70 to 80 % of it five or six times in earth’s geological history whilst heading for the next lucky or unlucky in next 6th or 7th with the least help of humans as well?

      Yet has not one of the greatest of the wise human SGB stated, tantamounting to the effect that we humans really don’t need to worry too much about the material of the arrow and/or the archer but try to cure and/or heal the wound that life is and not exacerbate it by any and all means possible without any fixed or rigid path when each of us is an apparent unique experimental creation of nature?

  • 20
    14

    Theses are the types of articles we would like to read on CT. Well written and factual.

    Thisaranee, I hope your articles are translated in Sinhalese and Tamil. Its the grassroots that need to be enlightened by myth of Rajapaksanism. MR has got them wrapped in his tentacles with his poisonous ways.

    • 14
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      Indeed Izeth , Mahindapala, Robert et el take note

      • 1
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        Rajash

        “Theses are the types of articles we would like to read on CT. Well written and factual”

        “Indeed Izeth , Mahindapala, Robert et el take note”

        Sinhala “Buddhists” do not like to be reminded and told about their treatment of fellow Tamil, Tamil Hindus.

        Tamil Vellahala Hindus, who follow the Vellahala Tinityism, of Hinduism, Cast-ism and Racism do not like to be reminded and told as to how they treat the non-Vellahala Tamils.

        Vellahala Ttinity= Hinduism + Castism + Racism.

        Take away, Hinduism + Castism + Racism from Vellahalism, and the Vellahalaism becomes Egalitarianism.

        How Long will it take? May be Izeth , Mahindapala, Robert et al have the answers.

      • 0
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        Rajash

        “Indeed Izeth , Mahindapala, Robert et el take note”

        What about the different scriptures? What about the Miracles? Heaven, Hell and Vellahala Castism, courtesy of Hinduism?

        World made in 6 days, sins expunged, Nirvana, Nibbana, God selects Jews, Krishna Selects Vellahala, etc. etc.

        Richard Dawkins Debates Flying Horses with Muslims

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWfHkLbMm6w

        Published on May 31, 2013
        Professor Richard Dawkins debates devout muslim Medhi Hasan about his firm belief in flying horses (Al -Buraq)

        Sahih Bukhari 5:58:227 “…Then a white animal which was smaller than a mule and bigger than a donkey was brought to me.” … “The animal’s step (was so wide that it) reached the farthest point within the reach of the animal’s sight. …”

        TIME AND AGE OF MIRACLES…IN THE PAST?

        Richard Dawkins “Did Muhammad Split the Moon in Two?”

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yXqwUxyKYw

        Published on Jun 17, 2013
        Islam claims that Muhammad split the moon in two, this video should help refute such unscientific claims that many muslims today still assert are a miracle of their prophet,many muslims even point to natural geological cracks on the moon, called Lobate scarps as evidence that the moon was once split apart by their buraq flying messenger

        Was the moon split in half?

        May Allah increase our knowledge by this great and informative anwser by Zakir Naik

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_UisSA0UXs

      • 0
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        Rajash

        “Indeed Izeth , Mahindapala, Robert et el take note”

        Judaism is a Tribal Religion.

        Zoroastrianism is a Tribal Religion

        Vellahalism, is also a Tribal Religion.

        The Truth About the Origins of the Jewish People – DNA Genetic Research May Shock Many of You!

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGEtE5G5Yhs

        The mothers of Jews in Israel are from Europe, and they are colonists in Palestine!

      • 0
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        Rajash

        “Indeed Izeth , Mahindapala, Robert et el take note’

        “Theses are the types of articles we would like to read on CT. Well written and factual. “

        Neanderthals, Homo Sapiens and Vellahalas take note.

        When Neanderthals and Modern Humans Meet

        Published on Nov 4, 2015
        Human evolution from 60,000 – 30,000 years ago
        By Professor Tom Higham, University of Oxford

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8ZTp-gs-Ok

        • 3
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          Amare

          I made on simple statement.
          You need 4 shots at me of cutting and pasting 4 times unrelated rubbish

    • 3
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      Tisaranee continues to impress, enlighten and educate in this cogent narrative centered around the murky and complex contemporary Lankan political imbroglio. Her essay, structured in elegant and perfect English in a country where quality English writing is fastly heading towards extinction – not a great credit to those entrusted with our long-sliding educational standards. A visiting foreigner reading the poor quality of the language in most of our leading newspapers will scarcely believe this same soil produced, not too long ago, such giants as Tarzie Vittachi, Reggie Michael, Mervin de Silva, Reggie Siriwardena and many others whose prose and diction stood them out as equals to the best anywhere.

      The political survival of the Yahapaalanaya circus, blindly groping in a multitude of directions, will depend on how well this multi-headed regime convinces the vast Sinhala majority electorate that it was the inefficiency, profligacy and thievery of the Rajapakse gang in their decade long misrule that almost entirely ruined our economy. Suspect politicians being hauled up weekly before the FCID to the glare of TV cameras is not enough. A few large sharks must be caught red-handed and severely punished to convince the people Maitripala’s regime actually means business. The man in the street does not know the complexities in the ground to grasp it is this daylight robbery by politicians, more so in the last regime, that has resulted in the 15-20% VAT, higher petrol/diesel prices, unbearable CEB bills and the staggering rise in the Cost of Living. Politicians have also failed us in the services – education is in shambles with poor quality teachers and results, health services have let down the people, the Police service is utterly corrupt with few exceptions and the law and order situation in the country is perilous.
      Drugs and Drug-trafficking is the new menace.

      Once again bankrupt politicians, like in the case in Greece, will blame the IMF/WB for stiff conditions to the US$2-3 billion now in the pipeline to save the SL economy – now needing life-support. The fault lies on our side.

      It is time to identify and hound out the rogues who ruined this country however high or mighty their name and influence. If much of the money allegedly swindled by the Rajapakse is recovered, this can help our economy in a substantial way.

      Kettikaran

      • 1
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        [Edited out]

      • 1
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        Ref. your last para, this bit of information may be of information, as outstanding matters:

        a) Computer purchases for Mahindodaya labs. In Rs. 5.87 Bil..
        b) Issue of 1000 diplomatic Passports during 9 yrs. of rule.
        c) Wealth of PSD Staff during the past Regime
        d) Tourist Board Officials Rs. 5.7 Mil. . transactions
        e) SL Insurance re involvement of a Doc. & ex-Minister
        f) S.E.Corp Rs.4.7 Mil. transaction
        g) Diary Printing by an ex-Minister Rs. 1.4 mil.
        h) D.A.Rajapakse Museum construction Rs. 91 Mil.
        i) Purchase of Gowers Pvt. Ltd. by a Parliamentarian
        j) 40 luxury vehicles rented by S.E.Corp.
        k) Rs. 3117 Mil paid by a Chinese Engineering Co.into6 Banks A/cs.
        l) Commonwealth Games Trip of 140 persons & exp. of Rs. 358mil.
        m) Rs. 12,500 mil. found dumped in Temple Trees during
        Dec.2014/Jan.2015

        • 5
          0

          What’s all this thunpa kuddu for??
          They were elected for pansal dansal.
          How many pansal men have luxury/collector vehicles with unpaid tax.
          Media and post is a coward.

          When the losers of WW2 Germany and Japan got back their independance and a Marshall Plan –
          They instantly went to the drawing board and Research & Development but did never go behind the church or temple or lavish themselves.
          But then they never were slaves in the trade and one was recluse nation.

          Lanka the happy go lucky nepali type stuck to cricket rugby a bit of horse racing just to mimic/mock the loser WW2 Britain
          (incidentally UK paid back its Marshall Plan borrowings to USA in 2010AD).
          With faster growth, the UK is now expected to overtake Japan and Germany at some point during the 2030s – although Germany’s influx of Syrian immigrants is expected to keep the country ahead of the UK for a few further years as skill shortages are alleviated, wage growth restrained and profits boosted.
          Country GDP 2015
          USA $18trn
          China $11.4trn
          Japan $4.1trn
          Germany $3.3trn
          UK $3trn
          France $2.4trn
          India $2.1trn
          Italy $1.8trn
          China Still 400 million unemployed.”By 2029 China will be safely positioned as the world’s largest economy. But its progress in that direction is now likely to be slightly slower than we had expected last year as a result of two factors – slower growth as the country transitions from-export led growth to consumer based growth; and a weaker renminbi as the country adjusts its exchange rate strategy to reflect China’s positioning of the renminbi as a reserve currency.”

          Eurasia.Central Asia will be the fastest growing region over the next 15 years – achieving a 10 per cent share of the world economy by 2030.

          In contrast, Western Europe is likely to be the world’s slowest-growing region with its share of the world economy falling by 42 per cent over the period leaving countries such as Italy and France likely to fall out of the G-8 and potentially even the G-20 groups.

  • 28
    14

    I don’t think MR realises the consequence of him accepting such an invitation and how the world would see him. His presence at this corrupt rulers swearing in ceremony is a testimony and endorsement of his own practices.

    Shame! on him and the shame he brings to Sri Lanka is untold.

    • 10
      9

      Gune;

      I think Maithripala has been very Sharp.

      By transferring his Ugandan Invitation to Mahinda, he hopes that more Sri Lankan Eyes will be opened to the Danger of Mahinda Returning to Power!

      CT, Please arrange for the Relevant Sections of this Article to be Translated into the Sinhala and Tamil Media.

    • 1
      6

      Gune

      ” I don’t think MR realises the consequence of him accepting such an invitation and how the world would see him.”

      In Sinhala, it is called “Gonata Andanawa”, dress him like a Bull.

  • 22
    13

    One thing, that must be said about the Rajapakses is, that they didn’t lack courage or boldness; the courage and boldness to do wrong.

    Unfortunately, both Sirisena and Ranil don’t even have a semblance of that courage to do right.

    Now you have two namby-pamby individuals waffling through time. I wish either or both get some balls/cojones and show even a little of Rajapakses’ courage; courage, not to do wrong, but good. The country can’t afford to wait. It’s now or never.

    • 13
      8

      Unfortunately doing right means time consuming as it is about crating building blocks and and building. Whereas doing wrong is easy as recklessness is the name of the game!

      • 20
        10

        “Unfortunately doing right means time consuming as it is about crating building blocks and and building. Whereas doing wrong is easy as recklessness is the name of the game!”

        Yes, that is true. And I also believed that the present two leaders would do it as promised, but not anymore.

        Where is the courage to root-out nepotism by not appointing brothers? When the president himself does it how can he dissuade others. Look who Ranil appointed as the ambassador to the UK; she herself says she is not suitable but will take the post anyway.

        Where is the courage not to meddle in corruption investigations and not mete out justice selectively? The FCID was going after Lalith Weeratunga and T B Jayasundera, there was a secrete private meeting with the two and Sirisana, where is the FCID now?

        Either you are against corruption or you are not. Either you are against nepotism or you are not. There is no halfway house.

        It’s better to wise-up and be attuned to what is transpiring now and not wait 5 years to realize that we all being had.

        In SL, one has to have greater courage, boldness and guts to do right than to do wrong.

        Still, there is no one in the horizon.

  • 9
    9

    Sri Lankans have very short memories, Yahapalana till date has done nothing notable on it’s promises to bring the corrupt to justice. Yes we do understand due process takes time but it’s like playing with fire as majority of Sri Lankans don’t have such patience. We also should not forget we have voted back some of the most corrupt/dumb MP back to power.

    Current government is taking it easy given they have another 4 years to rule/till next election. It seems their plan is they will show the people what they are capable utilizing the full length of their elected term.

    Rajapakse is fully aware of the Sri Lankan voter mindset playing his cards well. MARA doing what he know best pada Show is what keeps him going, while the government is burdened with finding the funds to run the county it’s all somehow plays in to MARA hand. Unless of course Sirisena/Ranil are holding some trump cards with them to show their hand when the situation reaches critical stage.

    One should not forget that we do have much freedom compared to MARA rule. There are short comings hopefully over a period of time Sri Lankans will see there is this another method of ruling a country. Which is the civilized way to do it.

  • 15
    13

    Ugandan’s Economy has been growing at 6 % plus for the last 7 years,

    Srilanka had an even better and consistently progressive growth rate around 7 % plus.

    Yhapalanaya F$$$$$ it up in just 15 months, dragging it down to 4 percent or less.

    That is USD 6.5 Billion less for to the Economy which has cost tens of thousands of jobs, and reduced take home pay for many more hundreds of thousands.

    Economics unfortunately is not Yahapalana suckers’ forte.

    Ugandan Idi Amin and Thamil Pirahaparan were in the same league, when it comes to “protecting Human Rights and Human Lives.

    Mussaveni and Rajapakasa now are the baddies and Human Rights violators.

    That is the mind set of these Yahapalana suckers.

    • 2
      8

      Borrow from China and let someone else worry about paying the bills

      “But as Chris Musiime, a local campaigner told me, many Ugandans are more worried about the Chinese, who are heavily involved in infrastructure projects. than South Asians.
      “Some Ugandans complain that the Chinese bring in their own workforce rather than employ and train locals,” he tells the BBC.
      Others, who have worked for the Chinese in an unskilled capacity, speak of poor treatment and communication difficulties.”

      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-36132151

      • 11
        1

        Creating jobs is a national problem for the government in power, not the contractor’s responsibility.
        BBC and media always have their knickers in a twist when it comes to anything other than free press.

        Creating jobs is not a multinational problem or China’s problem.
        China already has 350-400 million unemployed.

    • 3
      5

      Sumanasekara,

      One can assume that Musaveni was who MR aspired to be.
      MR is shit, MS is shit, too many Sri Lankans are shit,
      like you…We other Sri Lankans have to suffer thanks to you lot.

  • 13
    2

    “”Mr. Trump is no different from the Islamic State (IS) or fundamentalists of any other religion or race. From orient to occident, extremists of every race and fundamentalists of every creed have a similar aim – the purification of the land (reinen in the Nazi parlance) by evicting/suppressing the racial, religious or politico-cultural ‘Other’.””

    Cowards under the banner of social with no money in the kitty promote `immigrant faiths (muslims in particular)to run the roost` like at Lanka and call it ethnic war between 2 natives. You or the Dem/Gop do not have the ba**s to call a spade a spade and provide a solution. Yet ready and willing to curtail what must be just in practice. Slippery Slitherer to the core!
    Hide and squeak tisaranee.

    Sour grapes Tisaranee never never ever never had a practical solution to life as it is at present. But always supported socialista leeches drinking the blood of forward thinking conservative. Thinking supporting of own wattie amma CBK. Now the arrogant wattie amma clueless hillary.
    Tisaranee is as clueless but she comes across as arrogant

    Maybe Trump could stage his selection (Vice President) in the Trump Tower board room, like a political version of The Apprentice.
    If he asked the public to text their favourite candidate to his 900 number, the ensuing revenue might bankroll his entire campaign.

    “I think Trump is nuts, but I’d love to have him as a president to see what happens,”

    ‘Make America Great Again’- Trump.

  • 10
    2

    “”The unwillingness of major Western powers and international financial institutions to abandon their insistence on economics of austerity and to do for the Middle East what was done for the war-devastated Western Europe through the Marshall Plan played a significant role in the undermining of the Arab Spring and its replacement by a brutal winter of extremism.””

    Any and all charity of charity thinking christian west and giving west should go to the west not the stinking rich arabs and uncivilized suicide bombers who breed like rats anyway.

    The EU has its own civilized PIGS to care about.
    Go yap your crime to USA the Marshall Plan men O blessed one in the land of the triple blessed corrupt.

    Trump has made clear how he would solve the world of the unwanted terrorist.

    HARD CHEESE MATE.

  • 6
    3

    A very fine piece which is a ‘must read’ for every man representing the government.Provided they have the patience to read, and have the ability to understand.

    From all indications, they are taking the people too much for granted.

    Finally, the worm can turn.

  • 5
    4

    As usual, a very good analysis by Tissaranee. Bensen

  • 14
    6

    Tissaranee, Your articles just before the Presidential elections opened up some warped minds and set the scene for SL Idi Amin’s downfall.

    Keep writing and please don’t go away, so that some more warped minds may open up, like the likes of Dinesh Gonawardane, Bandula Gonawardane, Dayan the [Edited out], Vasideva, to mention a few. Booruwansa does not even possess the intellect to read between your lines, so let us leave him.

    May God bless you.

  • 4
    2

    “A somewhat similar drama is in the making in Sri Lanka. The government’s new economic regimen – imposed on it by the IMF – threatens to undermine its credibility and legitimacy, and enable the pro-Rajapaksa opposition to find its way out of the rubbish heap of history.”

    This, in my opinion, is the most important point in Thisaranee’s article. IMF & Wold Bank are the biggest enemies of democracy in countries likes Sri Lanka.

  • 4
    2

    Uganda and most African countries have many records of human rights violations – not that Sri Lanka is any better than many of them.

    http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/countries/africa/uganda

    In no country, are former politicians including heads of state, given financial support, by the state, for private trips abroad, even to attend inauguration of heads of state.

    The Ugandan invitation to Mahinda Rajapakse was a private one, from one head of state, to a person no longer a head of state.
    Gifting tax payers’ money for this junket for MR & acolytes, is a criminal act.

    So is approval of multimillion rent approval for office accomodation for minsters, when many citizens are living in huts in rural areas.
    The offices used by ministers of the former regime could have been made use of.

    So also is approval to purchase a car worth Rs 40 Million for a minister.

  • 6
    2

    Is some of Rajapaksa’s money in Uganda? Food for thought.

  • 5
    10

    Brilliant – as usual!

    Should be translated and circulated.

    Doesn’t CT have Sinhala / Tamil editions? If not, will be an excellent idea!

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