2 March, 2024

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Regain A Vision Of The Common Good

By Jehan Perera

Jehan Perera

At a time when the two elected branches of government have little or no legitimacy the unelected branch is gaining in legitimacy. The government has lost much of its legitimacy on account of being constituted in the main by those who were forced to step down in the face of the Aragalaya mass protests of a year and half ago. The Supreme Court’s verdicts in recent cases have been little short of remarkable. The verdicts in the Online Safety bill case involving control over the social media, De-radicalisation from holding violent extremist religious ideology-Regulation No. 1 of 2021, which would have permitted the government to send suspects off for compulsory rehabilitation without going through the courts, and the arrest of Mohamed Razik Mohamed Ramzy for hate speech being declared illegal have put the court solidly on the side of the democratic rights of the people.

The Supreme Court judgement in the case involving the apportioning of responsibility for wrecking the economy two years ago is also a path breaking one. The court held that a group including former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa and former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa violated people’s fundamental rights by mismanaging the economy between 2019 and 2022. The court that they had violated public trust and the constitution in their administration of the economy, leading to the economic crisis in the country. However, the court has not gone as far as to mete out exemplary punishment to those deemed to be guilty. This has led to demands from those in the opposition that they should be deprived of their civic rights and subjected to financial penalties.

Unfortunately, the efforts at progressive thinking demonstrated by the Supreme Court, is not being demonstrated by the other two branches of government. There is no system change at all as demanded by the Aragalaya protest movement and is the aspiration of the people who joined it physically and gave it their moral support from all corners of the country. Instead of change there is more of the same, except that the government has successfully delinked more of the upper economic classes and business elites from the protest movement. It has successfully catered to the self-interest of those who are rich, powerful and influential in relation to the population at large. It is like the French queen Marie Antoinette saying let them eat cake before the revolution. The recent budget which has won the support of the chambers of commerce exemplifies the policy of serving the interests of those who have to whom more is being given.

INEQUITABLE TAXATION

The increase in the Value Added Tax (VAT) from 15 to 18 percent and its application to nearly all commodities purchased by the rich and poor alike would impact more severely on those at the bottom end of the economic hierarchy than those at the top. In 2022, the common suffering experienced by all sections of the people of enduring fuel queues and power-cuts led a unique sense of unity. At Galle Face and in other parts of the country, individuals from various economic backgrounds—whether rich, middle class, or poor—stood side by side in a shared experience of deprivation. But today the economic challenges are no longer a shared burden. Presently, the hardships predominantly affect those in the bottom half of the income spectrum. The feeling of collective solidarity has dissipated. More than half of the population is grappling with hardship without a sense of hope, while those at the top are able to manage and some more than others.

The basic problem with the government’s approach to coming out of the economic mire is that its policy reforms are not being done with the vision of the common good predominating. This is nowhere to be better seen than in the area of tax policy which focuses on increasing government revenue. According to presidential advisor and former International Monetary Fund Director Dr Sharmini Coorey, the first indicator of Sri Lanka’s shortcomings in economic reform is its excessive reliance on indirect taxes over direct taxes, as well as its preference for taxing labour over capital. She said that “Both aspects violate the principle of fairness as indirect taxes shift the tax burden towards the poor who spend more of their income on goods and services, while capital income accrues mainly to the rich,” giving the 73rd Annual oration of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. https://www.dailymirror.lk/breaking-news/Sri-Lanka-continues-to-flout-key-principles-of-tax-policy-economist/108-270650

The violation of tax principles is also seen in the continuing bestowing of substantial tax holidays. With the tax reform of October 2022, most companies are now subject to a standard 30 percent corporate tax rate. However, favoured projects continue to receive wide-ranging tax exemptions under the Strategic Development Projects Act. Based on vague criteria, projects can negotiate exemptions from eight different tax laws, including corporate, personal, VAT, excise, and customs for as long as 25 years. Given that the tax exemptions mainly benefit the shareholders of corporations who are not merely rich, but are super rich, Sri Lanka typically extends welfare for the rich and the super-rich that far outweighs the small payments the government transfers to the poor through programmes like Aswesuma.

STATE RESPONSIBILITY

Recent pronouncements by government leaders indicate that the government is planning to give up on the longstanding policy articulated by the country’s founding fathers of universal free education and health services. The provision of these basic needs to the people regardless of their place in the economic hierarchy was one of the blessings by the newly independent country’s leaders to its citizens (with the cruel exception of the Tamils living in the plantations, the legacy of which continues to haunt). Both of these essential services, whose need is felt when a loved one fall seriously ill, and which provides the gateway to social mobility for those born to less privileged backgrounds, are now under threat of being irretrievably rundown by corruption and underfunding. It is acceptable to provide for private hospitals and universities for those who can afford them, but it is unacceptable to rundown the state hospitals and universities for those who cannot.

In a recent speech at a private international school, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the government was planning to provide students with a cash grant or voucher scheme to support them to go to fee-levying private educational institutions. Most private education institutions are not run for charitable purposes or for the purpose of the common good, but for the purposes of private profit. It is unlikely that a student from an underprivileged or economically poor family background could utilize a government grant or voucher and pay the balance required to attend a fee-levying private educational institution. The government must not abdicate its responsibility to provide a high quality education from state-run educational institutions, as indeed the president himself benefited from such facilities throughout his schooling, all for free in Sri Lanka itself. The quality of that education was so good that it has equipped him, and others, to be equals in the competitive international world, whether of politics, academia or economics. As Minister of Education four decades ago he did much to uplift the state education system.

The state sector is necessary to provide the regulations, the infrastructures and the commitment to social welfare to ensure the common good. There are many countries that provide models of free education and healthcare that are provided by the state. Sri Lanka has been one of them, though this is now being called into question on efficiency and affordability grounds. Giving more and more power and responsibility to the private sector is to abdicate the state’s responsibility for ensuring the fullest development of the country and its people. The Supreme Court verdicts in all of the recent cases involving the government highlight the need for change. The leaders of government today, and those to come, need to take their responsibility of working for the common good with sincerity

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Latest comments

  • 8
    2

    Jehan Perera is saying all the correct things. I am unable to applaud him however, for I never know what he will say next!

    • 3
      5

      Dear Nathan & all others who think:
      .
      https://www.newswire.lk/2023/11/23/watch-rajapaksas-responsible-for-sl-crisis-president-responds/
      .
      The link that I have given there is of such significance that I fear that I don’t understand all of it, and don’t want to keep to myself. More to follow.
      .
      That will yield a 36 minute interview, recorded today, between Palki Sharma (now working for a new employer, not WION) and Ranil Wickremasinghe. It is of perfect quality (going through that gear symbol you can increase or decrease quality – depends on how much data you want it to consume), and if you’re deaf the subtitles can be turned on, and are very well done.
      .
      Please play close attention to the body language of the participants.
      .
      I’m doing this much; please make your own comments here during the next four days, and elsewhere, taking responsibility for them!
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 483111444V)

    • 3
      6

      I’m sorry that so much got into bold, above:
      .
      In the Ranil Wickremasinghe interview above, reference is made to a speech by Dr. Mohamed Muizz, the new President of the Maldives.
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HlV_ODUAjE
      .
      It has come in for high praise, but I don’t understand it. Here’s a carefully crafted English translation:
      .
      https://www.presidencymaldives.gov.mv/Press/Article/29045
      .
      There were things there that I didn’t initially understand. For instance, is “maidan” a word? – Yes, it is. I checked it out. I also found our about “Shaheed Hussain Adam”. So can other readers!
      .
      There are many references to Islam, but a 4,000 year History of the islands is recalled – way before the Buddhist period, which is also real. I, Panini Edirisinhe, walked over a mound, having respectfully removed slippers, on the island of Nilandoo, in 1993. The Dhivehi word: “dagaba“! (I hope a Sinhala-Buddhist will not order my execution for “walking over“.
      .
      For the last word in the English translation, please see this explanation:
      .
      https://www.learnreligions.com/ameen-during-prayer-2004510
      .
      A brilliant speech, despite the quiet delivery. Who else was there?
      .

      https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=Inaugural+Address+by+His+Excellency+Dr.+Mohamed+Muizz%2C+President+of+the+Republic+of+Maldives+in+Dhivehi#fpstate=ive&vld=cid:6c1a2452,vid:QjLAVbyTIqU,st:0
      .
      That six minute YouTube has no sound, but it’s got Ranil and Maithri for those who want them.

    • 2
      7

      This is a speech in Parliament made on 2023.11.23 by Anura Kumara Dissanayake:
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p46C9L8RiZU
      .
      Sixteen minutes in Sinhalese. He makes the point that we must see an end to divisions based on race, religion and caste. He also complains about how the Human rights of certain prominent members of his Party have been violated. The examples are drawn from what has happened to some very senior retired military personnel. There will be those who say that this is tacitly stating that the military must continue to play a prominent role in our society.
      .
      There was little new in this for me. Those sentiments have recently been expressed in YouTubes showing discussions by others in the Party. That point just made indicates how much agreement there is among the active senior members of the NPP. There is agreement amongst them on almost all vital issues.

    • 2
      6

      Please see if this opens to give you a brilliant 4 minute speech in English by Sumanthiran, the Member of Parliament.
      .

      VID-20231123-WA0002.mp4

      (20,261K)
      .
      I apologise for this effort to transfer what I received as a TikTok on WhatsApp. I hope that it works.
      .
      Let me see what the moderators do with my good intentions!
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

      • 1
        6

        It (I mean the 4 minute Sumanthiran video) opened, in my computer, using Media Player from Microsoft.
        .
        I’d be grateful to receive some education on this!
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe of Bandrawela

      • 4
        0

        Dear S-M: Thank you for the link. I listened to it previously.

        In one place Ranil W – President admits “Rajapakses are responsible”. Thank you, Mr. President. Your statement has been convincingly confirmed by the Supreme Court.

        Now my question to you Mr. President: If both you as the President and the Highest Court in the country have confirmed that Rajapakes (three of them: MR; BR; & GR) along with another “Group” ( eight or nine) have “RUINED” this country, WHAT action you propose to take against these people who have committed CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY (the PEOPLE 0f S/L).

        You would easily get away by saying it is left to the PEOPLE to decide. NO. You are the “AUTHORISED” person under the Constitution to initiate action against all those named and found GUILTY by the SC. No doubt, PEOPLE will find the solution once their chance is given. If you don’t act immediately, YOU too will be subjected to severe punishment. Please be aware of that too.

        • 1
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          Have you also digested the speech from the Maldives yet?
          .
          I’d like guys like you who are intelligent to tell us what you feel about it.
          .
          Panini

        • 1
          0

          Douglas,
          You seem to assume that the people (and the judges) are always wise and make correct decisions.
          As the first democracy in Asia, having elections since the thirties, we should be living in Paradise now, but we aren’t, while many of our people want to go and work in countries which still are not democracies. Why is that?

          • 2
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            old codger

            “Why is that?”

            Good question.
            Irrespective of race, religion, region, …….. why aren’t people of this island (both Tamil/Sinhala ) looking for jobs and seeking asylum in SJ’s China?
            SJ in his own perverted thinking believes Tamils should accommodate Chinese in the North (East). Now he is going to twist what he typed a few days ago.

            He never said why people don’t want Chinaman in the North(East).
            Some thing wrong with him.

            • 1
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              Native,
              Are you aware that the British were seriously considering importing Chinese labour for the plantations instead of Indians? Now, that would have been interesting, no?

              • 0
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                oc
                Chinese coolie labour was more successfully used by Britain for other things– especially mines and railroads.
                Coolie labor for plantations I understand was a flop in Trinidad. That may be a reason.

              • 1
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                oc
                Do you suggest that this island could have ended up as a Singapore at India’s door step?
                *
                Don’t you hear sighs of relief?

              • 3
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                old codger

                “Are you aware that the British were seriously considering importing Chinese labour for the plantations instead of Indians?”

                No, however I am aware of the Chinese labour was being forcibly taken to USA and South America. Many died while sailing to their destinations.

                “Now, that would have been interesting, no?”

                You mean Mao would have liberated them from their slavery?

                • 1
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                  Native,
                  “You mean Mao would have liberated them from their slavery?”
                  Not really. But think about this: Is there a poor country with a significant Chinese community ? I think Communism has little to do with it.

        • 1
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          A fantastic comment. Thank u , Douglas mahathmaya 🙏🙏🙏🙏

  • 10
    2

    “Recent pronouncements by government leaders indicate that the government is planning to give up on the longstanding policy articulated by the country’s founding fathers of universal free education and health services”
    Was that not the intention when JRJ opened up in 1978?
    Health and Education have been systematically undermined since then.
    There were some successful protests but the erosion continued.
    Did the writer wake up to it only now?

    • 4
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      Badiyudeen granted some PhDs. But others education was plucked out of them was thrown in fire Siri Ma O. It was Kanangra’s long term vision nationalizing Tamils educational institutions and put a period for it with the name of National Education System.

  • 13
    3

    Talking about legitimacy, what legitimacy has Ranil got to be the President of Sri Lanka? Ranil was kicked out of the Parliament by the voters together will every contestant of UNP. He crept into the Parliament through the back door with the blessing of Mahinda. Even now, after the Supreme Court decision against the Rajapasas, Ranil has not taken any action to remove their civic rights and institute legal action to reclaim the stolen money through the UN arm stolen by them. Ranil is truly not Ranil Wickremasinghe but Ranil Rajapaksa.

  • 10
    2

    Goals and Visions are set not by undemocratic leaders or undemocratic institutions. So, it is time to make democracy to work. Therefore elections are necessary and those who directly or indirectly took part in the failure of their duty to fail to achieve peace and economic success should be not take part in the revised democratic election.

    • 9
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      What have elections to do with democracy?
      We have had them for nearly a century.

      • 7
        0

        What have elections to do?
        Looks a very good question. But What you have to do without an election? Can you please educate us and people of the world what is democracy and what does it?

        • 1
          8

          I will not try to educate anyone here. That is not my mission.
          One may learn by studying the way things are done in supposedly ‘undemocratic’ countries where even tiny minorities are represented, people with expertise to offer are placed in decision making bodies etc.
          What is needed is representation of the interests of every social group and community, however small.
          There are systems of election different from what we know.
          There are systems where people elect/choose their representatives who can be recalled by their electors, because the electorate is small and it monitors the representative.
          I have said more than what I intended.

          • 5
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            How do you recall, when you elect one and they appoint another one on their behalf?

            • 0
              4

              I do not think that you can understand a simple statement, however hard one may try.
              I will not tax your cranial cavity.

              • 4
                0

                I do not think that you can understand a simple statement, however hard one may try.
                This we had talked about in almost half of your comments. An outdated one left behind by Stalin and Siri Ma O and specially by evolution , keep grinding the same sentence again and again. In that Kandravi situation you did something to some students in universities. Even God wouldn’t know what that was! How have you been fooling those youths until Langkang Aanduwa gave them the rest. Did you take log of what those kids are now doing with their educational subjects you taught? Certainly, your comments indicate you never built a level and respect where it would have counted most. Could you list a few names that you count in CT as your excellent disciple of yours and they immediately pick up whatever the teaching you are doing here? Then I can calculate who you are. If you had ever read and understood the comments other readers wrote to you, for your age and level, you would not have been behaving in such a nincompoop manner. Would You? You repeatedly show that you are wearing the emperor’s new cloth all through your life, so you care about nothing.

                • 1
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                  Sorry that I missed saying that I will not tax your cranial cavity either.
                  But then, you habitually pick on anything that you will never understand.

          • 6
            0

            Saying more than what you intended and all of it meaning next to nothing seems to be a MO of yours, my friend.

            • 1
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              HKTJ
              He is here to amuse us.
              But not many are laughing as few bother to read him.

              • 4
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                Read the comments, silly-Sally Cuckoo. Without knowing what the people wants for them as democracy, without knowing what is suitable for them as democracy, without knowing what they can effort have as democracy, and what is practical in those circumstances as democracy you just baffling you had said a lot & knows a lot, but still trying to be short and sweet. What narcissistic comical behavior is that! Do you think a man with capacity would write a line like that?
                ” few bother to read him ” You could not be original even on that, just coping Sinhala_Buddhist_Man like your class. Don’t be too smart in showing your ignorance, by copying others. Don’t standardize joining the Sinhala Buddhist Propagandist. CT would know how many times you put red thumbs down, hoping to make your enemy underrated. Even CT cannot keep track of who and who are reading one’s comment, using WordPress. You are illiterate of modern technologies, so you are commenting sheepishly like that. After all, anybody who reads my comments are well aware that those aimed at specific political groups. Though You attempts to read my comments repeatedly to find spelling mistakes, still you could not be able to grab that those are intended to specific groups. So, there is no surprise that they seek comments talking about the subjects interesting for them. But like a pig, you plough through everything but figure out nothing’s meaning.

              • 4
                0

                Let me re-post a comment you appear read it but lost the meaning.
                Saying more than what you intended and all of it meaning next to nothing seems to be a MO of yours, my friend.

              • 4
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                How sure are you that HKTJ was not addressing you but Mallai. Read what you typed (the last sentence “saying more than what I intended”) ) and HKTJ ‘s response (first sentence, saying more than what you intended and all of it meaning next to nothing ). Trying to assess some one’s cranial cavity, not knowing your own intellectual capacity ?????
                Hmmmmm…….these days Lankans are not just silly or stupid, but judgmental too ( the naked emperor is laughing).

                • 0
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                  Getting even more pathetic are we not!

                  • 0
                    0

                    ps.
                    I think that M has got the message that pathetic you are unable to.

      • 5
        0

        “What have elections to do with democracy?”

        It is very simple, we can eventually get rid of the elected ones if we see them unfit for the job, unlike in some dictatorship, (infallible heroic leader who is standing up against the West, author of Little Red Book…… cult)

        Tony Ben’s five democratic questions:
        What power do you have;
        Where did you get it;
        In whose interests do you exercise it;
        To whom are you accountable;
        How can we get rid of you?
        The last question is very important.
        No one in his/her right mind would ask Hitler, Starlin, Mao, …. these questions.

  • 7
    1

    In praise of Dayan Jayatillake ……. how Israel imparted well tested knowhow/experience/methods and helped to hatch a plan ….. kaboom Easter ……. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsjVFkbWKKM

  • 7
    1

    The people who made a film about Rohana Wijaweera …….. accepting awards from his killers ……. who burned him alive ……. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XplNLuZi9DY

    Is there ever going to be an end to Lanka’s misery? :))

    • 4
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      nimal fernando

      “Is there ever going to be an end to Lanka’s misery? :))”

      Ceylon Today reported:
      Threatened with broomstick attack, Actress Kushboo backs out of Jaffna show
      22 November 2023

      A noisy minority which makes a lot of noise has made stupid statements against Swasthika Arulingam and Kushboo recently.
      Being official/unofficial spin doctor of VP did you have anything to do with this?

      • 6
        1

        “Being official/unofficial spin doctor of VP did you have anything to do with this?”

        Native,

        Unlike your spin for 30 years bungling bumbling monumentally incompetent imbecile Ranil – while he is alive …….. Prabakaran did not need spin ……. he proved his mettle with deeds for 30 years …….. spin is for people who can’t thinks for themselves ……. for people who can think, history speaks for both men! :))

        • 1
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          nimal fernando

          ” spin is for people who can’t thinks for themselves ……. for people who can think, history speaks for both men!”

          Of course spin helps the longevity of your celluloid heroes, Rohana Wijeweera, Gota, VP, …. even many generations after their demise, … Look at cult of Mao and Mao’s ***** carriers, …. caste conscious Arumuga Navalar and Saivites, racist Anagarika Homeless Dharmapala and his new people Sinhala/Buddhists, …

          What a pathetic living of people of this island.
          Are you celebrating VP’s birthday on 26th this month?
          The celebrations started on 21th November ends on 27th, …
          The climax this year is your hero VP’s daughter Duvaraha (now known as nation’s daughter) is expected to “come in from the cold” on 27th with a message for her people(?). Some stupid Tamils believe she is going to carry on with the struggle . The key diaspora LTTE agents perhaps want to build a Mafia structure/Network among diaspora Tamils.

          Don’t you think you should bless them for their noble effort?

      • 2
        1

        Ol’ Gunduvindu being less hypocritical than Native and Ranil ! :))) ……….. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MW2iBQUq4cs

        • 3
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          Nimal,
          “Gundi Vanda Kumara” Deception, Deflection, Diversion and wasting valuable time!?
          Where was this guy when the Messiah was plundering this nation!!??
          KAAKA and ‘Crows in Boeing, hitting Planes, FAMOUS was imploding SL with 20 – 50% escalation of BOQ on Expressways and Power Projects _ Probably resting under a Tree, his head on the bulging roots of the trees found in abundance in the Vicinity!!!??? Probably preoccupied in the Mutability of the Human Brain or Fallibility of the human mental faculties!!!??? He was, i bet on the sidewalk absent minded promotion of them as NATIONALIST, STATESMAN AND PATRIOTS!!! Now singing different tune for hid DINNER or SUPPER!!!???

        • 3
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          nimal fernando

          I watched him about 10 minutes. Nothing useful, no facts, no new ideas, …. silent on Supreme Court verdict on Rajapaksa clan, ….. A person with a BSc maths degree and a MA in Buddhists studies (both from Sri Lanka) finds logical and rational thinking difficult.

          Even the lonely Field Marshall though stupid, at times comes up with startling suggestions, this time he recommends imposing capital punishment for those who commit sexual violence. On the eve of 2010 Presidential elections (supported by stupid Tamil parties) told media if he became president he would drag the clan to Galle face green. I don’t agree with none of his suggestions. Man like your hero VP a psychopath, wants to kill, ….

          You should consider renouncing your foreign citizenship, take up politics in Sri Lanka, contest elections, … tell the people during hustings how you (wrongly of course) value VP’s leadership.

          Nationalism, Patriotism, Fascism, Maoism, Leninism, Stalinism, Communism …. gone past their expiry dates,…. Gevindu should worry about state of Sri Lankan state, people’s democratic rights, …. rather than his obsession with constitution, dress code, idea of Buddhism, trust on fake patriots, …..

          He should like his grandfather Munidasa Kumaratunga engage himself in researching and promoting Sinhala language. He should be advised to bin the piece of paper that he always carries with him, apparently it contains some of his “”ideas”” on constitutional amendments.

          Are you praying for Gazans?

          • 2
            0

            “finds logical and rational thinking difficult.”

            You’re totally missing the logic too!

            If you read what I write without preconceived hatreds/biases/ideas ………. you might have a stab at understanding what I’m saying.

            There are 2 types of admiring/appreciating …….. i.e. in isolation ……. and relatively/comparatively.

            I’ve always said …….. of all the Lankan “political figures” that have emerged in my lifetime ……. I have the highest regard for Prabakaran. That’s relative/comparative. ………. Now, the ball is in your court: is there any other pol who I should have more regard for? …….. Who has covered himself/herself in glory? Please volunteer a name. Just one would do! :)))

            And I admire Nietzsche, Diogenes in isolation. They need no comparison.

            I hope you get what I’m saying.

            • 2
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              nimal fernando

              Here is something you hate to listen to:

              Exclusive: Sri Lanka’s Ranil Wickremesinghe on Economy, Chinese Vessel | Vantage with Palki Sharma
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sVgo23Xxjo

              Even if you hate to trust Ranil, old codger would say its worth listening to Palki Sharma.
              This is an edited version, about 15 minutes.
              Here is the long full interview about 36 minutes:
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A28AlP-Mk-c

              You can indulge in either of the clips.

              • 2
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                nimal fernando

                In the above interview Ranil has dismissed Tamil’s political demand for North East. Now he has promised to find solution for just North unilaterally. Isn’t it too much for Gevindu.

              • 1
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                Native,
                “old codger would say its worth listening to Palki Sharma.”
                Palki has her good days and bad ones. On her bad days, she’s almost as bad as Sivathasan the BJP fan from Jaffna.
                But this was one of her good days. Even Ranil didn’t have the heart to yell at her the way he did to that poor German guy.
                Who do you think was in love with the other more, Ranil or Palki? Such interesting body language…..

              • 2
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                Native,

                Thanks for the link.

                Two similar/analogous Asians comfortable with each other …….. the stitched-up East-West duality enduring without strains.

                Unlike with that DW White dude …….. where Ranil’s duality came apart at the seams.

                These are normal everyday occurrences for me, Native. I live in the human-condition: eyes fully opened.

                You live in clouds with your eyes open to only what you like.

                While up there ……… you might as well start a cloud-storage business to rival Amazon/MS! :)))

        • 2
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          nimal fernando

          “Ol’ Gunduvindu being less hypocritical than Native and Ranil !”

          In a discussion Gevindu branded Ranil as unelected president while forgetting he too was unelected MP.
          Now tell us who is more hypocritical than him?

          I would say SJ is in par with Gevindu.

  • 5
    1

    Privatisation of state entities, small government, disproportionate taxation of the poor, tax cuts to the rich; suppression of media, free speech, and protests; all are nothing but right wing, neo liberal policies that border on laissez faire capitalism, with a healthy dose of usual UNP classist cronysm (I am sure caste also gets factored into its operational algorithm somewhere in the process) to add spice and flavour to the palates of the rich. With a little bit of green washing as a PR stunt. Only to be expected from the IMF and World bank working in the back drop. The true ill effects of these policies will take years to manifest.

    • 2
      4

      Ruchira, You say ill effects of privatisation of state uni. will take years to manifest. There are doctors serving government who are MBBS_NCMC, MBBS_SAITM and MBBS_KDU and we are so grateful to them serving SL citizens living here while others are running away.

      • 3
        0

        davidthegood,
        .
        Firstly read my comment again, I haven’t said privatisation of state universities.
        .
        Secondly you make it look like that all the doctors who leave the country are from state universities and none of the students from former private medical schools have left the country.
        .
        People including doctors leave the country for various reasons, both from state universities as well as private universities.
        .
        In addition for doctors to leave the country and practice in another country they require to pass additional licenciate examinations accepted by these countries.
        .
        Thirdly KDU is not a private university.
        .
        I think your comment is a little ill intended and is an attempt at stirring animosity between private and state university students, particulary medical schools, that is not going to help smooth functioning of the health sector.
        .
        Finally there are thousands of doctors working in Sri Lanka and it won’t take an Einstein to figure out many more doctors graduated from state universities than those from former private medical schools serve in the country.
        .
        Next time try to come up with a stronger argument that has some merit.

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        dtg
        We are living in a society which is so selfish that even the family is diminishing in value.
        Education and health are investments in people and best entrusted to the state. that is how it is in Europe and most of university education is in state universities in the US as well, I was surprised to hear from am American educationist.
        School education has failed the children by not inculcating sensible social values. The rate race starts when the children are 10.

        • 3
          1

          “Education and health are investments in people and best entrusted to the state. “
          Mr. Confucius, in the name of too big a philosophy, doesn’t confuse the state universities and private universities and the NFP in the democratic countries. Big names are with NFPs. State universities are not as free as you think. Only scholarships are free, in whatever group of universities you get it. Because of capitalism’s effect on people’s lives, about 45% hold a college degree in the US and EU about 35%. Remember, obtaining a college degree is decided only by its worthiness. So 45% see it is worth getting a degree. What is the record of finding employment for Langkang graduates? Why do you want them all to have PhDs as worthless as yours?

          • 1
            4

            yawwwwwwwwwwn!

      • 5
        2

        davidthegood,
        .
        I must join Ruchira in asking you to be careful about what you say, and mind your own business.
        .
        I was in a hurry to make a comment on this article by my courageous friend, Professor Ratnajeevan Hoole:
        .
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/suppressing-free-speech-religious-freedom-by-labelling-them-hate-speech/
        .
        I gave him advice which he would understand, but not necessarily appreciate. He writes under his own name. You, cowardly humbug specialise in sowing dissension.
        .
        I’d like all readers to go back there and see for yourself the comment this fellow had the audacity to make.
        .
        I do not belong to any Church; I’m myself. I feel that if somebody administered a test on the “Church of Ceylon” to both of us, as part of some sort of weird competition, I’d fare pretty well, although I desist from speculating that I will prove more knowledgeable than you. For me religion is not about such competitions.
        .
        Now, get lost, evil man!
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe (baptised and confirmed Anglican).

        • 4
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          A very un-Christian comment!

          • 3
            0

            You may be right, SJ, because “davidthegood” may have meant it as a kindly warning.
            .
            I don’t think that a single reader except “davidthegood,” himself knows who it is that makes those comments using that name and gravatar. Although his comments are never blood-curdling, they are full of far too many seriously-meant references to passages from the Bible.
            .
            Now ‘SJ’ inhabits a different kettle – not of fish – but of commenters. Every regular reader knows who you are, but you don’t want it to be specifically spelt out. I’ve scrolled through the 28 comments so far made, and I’m glad to see that there is nothing by “leelagemalli” among them.
            .
            I’m hoping that he will remain absent, but what a “fond” (didn’t the word mean “foolish” in the time of Shakespeare? And that meaning isn’t quite dead – https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fond ) thought.
            .
            A comment from him is bound to appear – unless he sees this comment of mine, and decides to make it untrue.
            .
            What agonies we are made to suffer!
            .
            Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 483111444V)

            • 0
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              Sinhala_Man,
              .
              Isn’t it dangerous to post your National ID number here all to see? I don’t see the purpose or the need to do so. Any reason why you do it?

  • 4
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    SL public finance was not bad before 1983. Budget deficit and govt borrowing increase since 1983. Why ? SL spent lots of money to kill Tamils. They killed over 300,000 Tamils. Over 300,000 Tamils left the country since 1983. Public consumption of over 600,000 people gone. Less GDP less income to the state. They could not repay the money borrowed to kill Tamils. Karma works well. Pay the price.

  • 5
    0

    ” Regain The Vision For The Common Good”.

    To “REGAIN” means to get back what we had. I am asking, was there anything such as “Common Good” in the minds of our Governing Authorities” that we have lost? There was nothing like that.

    What we have to do now is to INTRODUCE that “COMMON GOOD” to our system and that needs a complete CHANGE of the existing “VAULGOR JUNGLE LAW”.

  • 3
    1

    Good, sound and educative article Jehan, summing up recent developments that would take a lot of reading on our own to catch up on
    Jeevan

  • 4
    1

    Post script: I took a 2-week holiday from my reading while my children were visiting

    • 3
      5

      Strange.
      Nobody noticed it.

      • 0
        2

        Possible, SJ.
        .
        nimal sometimes
        gets away with placing the words of a pop song below the article without ever reading the said article.
        .
        And then he gets plenty of green thumbs although the so-called comment has nothing to do with the article. The guy is a genius!
        .
        Yet, I see him as a guy who consistently displays positive values; he is sincere in his hatred of Ranil and the Rajapaksas. I tend to read almost all that he writes.
        .
        Submitted by nimal’s fan in Bandarawela, at 03:54.</

        • 0
          1

          Sorry, see how tired I’ve been.
          .
          It’s not nimal fernado who had taken a two week break. It’s been Jaffna Man, whom I know well enough, personally.
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe

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