20 September, 2021

Blog

Rotten Creeds, Failed Gods

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“A leader is found! Yet cautiously to myself I ask, a leader to where? Despair overthrown often turns us in mad directions. ~ Katharine Kressmann Taylor (Address unknown)

Gotabaya Rajapaksa

In Brother Grimm’s Little Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty), the twelve wise women invited to the birthday feast gift the baby princess with “everything in the world that one can wish for.” A magical intervention of similar magnitude would be necessary to create the kind of leader who can use with moderation and efficacy and for greater good the enormous powers of Sri Lanka’s executive presidency.

Our titanic presidency is a bad fit for mortals. The crown slips down covering the eyes, blinding the wearer. The mantle entangles the arms hampering efficient movement. Near divine powers are thus wielded by a mortal deprived of ordinary sight and ordinary efficacy by the weight of those very powers. How can anything but disaster ensue?

Sri Lanka’s presidential elections are pure theatre. Media campaigns attribute super human qualities to candidates, endowing them with “everything in the world that one can wish for.” Aggrandisement is the norm. No claim, however preposterous, is beyond belief to the faithful and the desperate. Each candidate is depicted as The Saviour, the One who will cure all our ills and guide us to the Promised Land, this time, definitely this time.

The gap between this hype and reality is measurable only in light years. The winning candidate must battle every day, every hour pretending that the crown and the mantle are a perfect fit. The show works for a time and then does not. The failed saviour is abandoned and a desperate search, an impatient wait for the new saviour begins. Blinded by faith, we cannot see that the failure belongs to not just the gods but also the creed.

Given his narrow horizons and paucity of experience, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was perhaps more primed for failure than most. But failure was his inescapable eventual fate, because no mortal could be what he claimed for himself and what his supporters claimed for him. (This was true of the other main candidates; none of them could have lived up to their own hype.) His fate is written, not in the stars but in the job description.

The failure is both personal and systematic, president and presidency. In the 43 years of its existence, the executive presidency has not been able to deliver on its two main promises of economic development and political stability. The Gotabaya-experience proves, if more proof is needed, the danger of placing near absolute power in the hands of any single individual, however worthy he or she might seem, before power.

Lankan political class is subject to a law of diminishing marginal qualities. Each generation of politicians is less than the previous one. The current crop of parliamentarians (a few notable exceptions apart) seems the pits until one considers what awaits the nation in municipal councils and Pradesheeya Sabhas. Future presidents might be swimming even now in these toxic pools. Against such a real possibility, the fictional horrors of a Bram Stoker or a Steven King would be laughably trite.

From Personal Despotism to Hereditary Despotism

Hilary Mantel in her controversial essay, Royal Bodies, compared monarchy to pandas, “expensive to conserve, and ill adapted to any modern environment,” a spectacle. She was referring to the constitutional monarchy in her own country, defanged and declawed (not to mention twice deposed and once decapitated) over centuries into something basically harmless. But to understand what how kings actually rule, one must look at the absolutist monarchies that still prevail in the political badlands, from Saudi Arabia to Thailand.

“Latin Americans elect monarchs whom we than call presidents,” Simon Bolivar is said to have remarked. Monarchs with claws and fangs intact, one should add. JR Jayewardene touted the US and France as models when he first advocated an executive presidential system in 1966. But the presidential system he created was a closer kin to Latin America’s Caudillo presidency Bolivar talked about than to American or French models.

JR Jayewardene’s main argument for an executive presidency was economic. Successive governments had failed to deliver the development Lankan people deserved, he contended, because the Westminster system made leaders unwilling to impose ‘correct but unpopular policies.’ After the UF regime’s seven-year closed economy nightmare, it should have been obvious that a parliamentary government with a clear majority was capable of imposing and maintaining policies it considered correct but were deeply unpopular. It should also have been clear that a parliamentary government with a clear majority could crack down hard on opponents without and dissenters within. Prime Minister Bandaranaike’s government banned opposition rallies and imposed an arbitrary curfew just to prevent a pro-government trade union federation from holding a demonstration the PM had previously disallowed. .

JR Jayewardene’s subjective desire for presidency was no match against these objective realities. He designed a presidency to suit not so much the country’s needs as his own. It lacked the power-balance that is the hallmark of successful presidential systems. His president was a king in all but name. When he boasted that the only thing he as president could not do was to turn a man into a woman and vice versa, he was speaking the truth as he saw it. That hubris would lead to a massive and bloody downfall. He would end his tenure as a failed and deeply unpopular leader who left the country in far worse straits than it was when he inherited it.

The one undoubted success of his tenure, the economic takeoff of the early years, had nothing to do with the executive presidency and everything to do with the opening up of the economy. And that opening was done and could have been maintained without the executive presidency because it was popular. In an ultimate irony, the political mistakes and crimes of the executive president would destroy those initial economic gains. By the time JR Jayewardene’s second term ended, the economy was in shambles, much like the country.

The presidential system has not fared any better in terms of its other main promise, that of maintaining political stability. Its first decade saw more upheavals and bloodshed than all the previous years of independence put together. The list includes the removal of the civic rights of the main opposition leader, the sacking of 40,000 July strikers, the burning of the Jaffna Library, the referendum, the Black July, the proscription of the JVP, the First Eelam War and all its related atrocities, the second JVP insurgency and all its related atrocities, Indian aerial intervention and the arrival of the IPKF. Even constitutional stability was not achieved. During the first decade of the presidency, the constitution was amended 16 times. That record alone should have made us realise that an all powerful presidency with a two-thirds majority in parliament is not a recipe for salvation but for utter disaster. Yet, 48 years later, against all evidence and reason, the myth is as bright as ever.

The personal despotism inherent in the Lankan presidential system has morphed into a hereditary despotism under the Rajapaksas. The advent of Basil Rajapaksa is on par with this transformation. That was why Mahinda and Gotabaya Rajapaksa insisted on removing the dual citizenship clause, made that removal non-negotiable despite all the bleating of their lay and ordained ultra-nationalist acolytes. Basil Rajapaksa is to succeed Brother Gotabaya, to be followed by Nephew Namal. The brothers, whatever their differences, understand that their familial interests are of greater moment than their individual egos. They’d do whatever it takes to maintain power in familial hands. The existence of the executive presidency makes their task easier.

That ill-judged No Confidence Motion against a minister for implementing a government decision had one utility value – it demonstrated that within the SLPP the Rajapaksas are both dominant and hegemonic. If the SLPP splinters, it will be because the Family sunders. That happy event won’t happen in time for the next national election.

Ishalini and the Poverty of the Opposition

Gotabaya Rajapaksa would want to enjoy the full five years of his only term. An early presidential election is therefore highly unlikely. Provincial council election will come before that, possibly in late 2021 or early 2022, pandemic permitting. The showbiz type arrival of Basil Rajapaksa was partly to energise SLPP activists and give the Rajapaksa base a new hope, so that the PC polls can be won without resorting to over-the-top fraud or violence.

The Rajapaksas would know that they face certain defeat in the North and possible defeat in the East. Their aim would be to win in all the other provinces. If they succeed, it would cast a serious damper on the bubbling societal resistance. Therefore, the opposition needs to push the SLPP below the all important 50% mark in at least one province. This would require a significant voter-shift not just away from the Rajapaksas but also to the opposition.

Taking the 2020 parliamentary election as the base, to push the Rajapaksas below the 50% mark even in the Colombo district would require a swing of more than 13%. Since a swing of 24% and 22% would be needed in Gampaha and Kalutara respectively, defeating the Rajapaksas even in the Western Province would be somewhat of an uphill task.

During their time in the opposition, no governmental error or crime was too small or insignificant to the grist of the Rajapaksa mill. Every issue, however local, however small, was picked up, blown out of proportions, painted in lurid colours and placed on the national stage. A clear line of responsibility was drawn between the government and every problem everywhere. Without that clarity and single-mindedness, the SLPP might not have been able to win the LG polls so handsomely or gain the presidency outright, even after the Easter Sunday Massacre.

Today, the opposition to the government is not spearheaded by the organised official opposition. It comes mainly from a collection (not a collective) of individuals. It is spontaneous, unorganised, more like a series of bubbles than a steady stream. Not every social media post poking fun at or castigating the Rajapaksas would automatically become a vote for the opposition. On the contrary, there is a considerable likelihood of such critics adopting a ‘plague on all your houses’ attitude and staying away, especially if the election is non-national, and if the opposition parties fight each other on the campaign trail more than they fight the Rajapaksas. 

The crisis is a hermitic one, because there is no strong, inspiring alternative. The opposition is too busy preparing for a presidential election that will not be held this side of 2024. Various opposition personalities are engaged in a game of infantile one-upmanship. So many issues of national significance are ignored or de-prioritised. The opposition’s strangely lackadaisical response to the Ishalini-case is an example of this.

The facts are too well known to be repeated. But as a statement signed by a number of Sinhala, Tamil, and Muslim civil society organisations pointed out, the repeated rape and suspicious death of Ishalini is one of several other equally horrendous cases of child abuse. The alleged abusers and enablers in these cases include parents, monks, lawmakers, guardians of the law and professionals. They point to a deadly institutional decay and moral decline that has placed the future of the country at risk.

Almost a decade ago, a young Muslim girl from the East, Rizana Nafeek was driven by poverty to seek employment in Saudi Arabia. Her hard-earned dollars enriched our foreign reserves. Yet when she was charged with murder and sentenced to death, her motherland, its government, and those politicians who claimed to represent her community mostly ignored her plight. The young girl was eventually beheaded. When her killers offered her poverty-stricken mother compensation, she turned down the blood-money.

Young Ishalini’s fate is not very different. She too was driven by poverty to seek employment as a domestic aide. If plantation workers were accorded a living wage, her fate might have been different. As it was, she had to give up her education and place her life in the hands of strangers, just as Rizana did. She too was betrayed. Rishard Bathiudeen should never have permitted his family to employ a minor. He failed as a lawmaker, an opposition leader and as a human being.

The government’s indifference to the Ishalini case is understandable because tolerating child abusers and pardoning murderers is pro-forma for them. One expects a better standard of conduct from the opposition. Still, rotten creeds can produce only failed gods. 

43 years is long enough to know what doesn’t work. It is time to stop this interminable wait for the saviour who will never come for he/she exists only in our desperate longings.

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Latest comments

  • 27
    4

    I think it’s time to stop blaming the ruling class only for all the problems of the country. After all these politicians come from the society as they are elected by the people.
    As a person who remember as a child in the early years after independence the country was prosperous then. Now the country has become poor with a large percentage of the population live under miserable conditions.
    If we ask why this is so, we will come to the conclusion that the people as a whole are not producing enough goods and services to satisfy their needs and have also have a small surplus at least.
    One reason I can think of (leaving alone the incompetent, racist and corrupt governing of the country since independence) is the population growth.
    China and Singapore have had one-child and two-children policies, respectively in the Seventies when they were poorer; Now that both the Huge China and tiny Singapore have become affluent, or rich they have relaxed these population control policies.
    Before correcting the politicians’ mind sets we must educate the people’s mind sets so that the society realizes that it must produce a bigger cake before they can share with more children. Most politicians are selfish rogues.

  • 20
    4

    contiued….
    How do you produce a bigger cake like what Singapore produces? Society must value productivity, value individuals, irrespective of their ethnicity, their education and talent to produce prosperity. If Tamils, or Muslims are good at producing economic gains that must be encouraged as the whole society will then benefit. Instead the country has been driving out hundreds of thousands of Tamils abroad and they enhance the economies of affluent counties while Sri Lanka sinks deeper into poverty.
    There must be an enlightened teacher like the Buddha to wean away from the demagogues and educate the masses of how the country can become peaceful and prosperous.
    Before correcting the politicians’ mind sets we must educate the people’s mind sets so that the society realizes that it must produce a bigger cake before they can share with more children. Most politicians are selfish rogues.
    How do you produce a bigger cake like what Singapore produces? Society must value productivity, value individuals, irrespective of their ethnicity, their education and talent to produce prosperity. If Tamils, or Muslims are good at producing economic gains that must be encouraged as the whole society will then benefit. Instead the country has been driving out hundreds of thousands of Tamils abroad and they enhance the economies of affluent counties while Sri Lanka sinks deeper into poverty.

  • 36
    4

    As days go by, Nandasena is looking more and more like Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine champion of extra judicial handling of dissent.

    • 19
      4

      I have spoken to several small holder tea estate owners. And they all insist that running a tea estate is an expensive business and they often cant afford to pay the labourers a decent wage.
      Middle men who are exporting the tea abroad are millionaires.

      • 7
        1

        Humble

        “And they all insist that running a tea estate is an expensive business and they often cant afford to pay the labourers a decent wage.”

        Are you suggesting all the Tea Estates be given to China on a long term (perhaps 999 year lease). Chinese criminals (SJ believes due to the availability of Mao’s red book China could not have any criminals) on death row and those who are serving life sentenced can be employed as estate workers.

        Sri Lanka will be known as China’s Penal Colony.

      • 1
        1

        That’s the main reason why the parents ate forced their underage vulnerable children to work in rich people houses cafes shops ….and missed their education and future….
        Wonder how many children are working in the small tea holders bungalows……

    • 24
      3

      The sinhala leadership has been very consistent when it comes to racism and stealing
      The people for the most part have the same mentality.
      Rotten people produce a rotten nation.
      ‘You shall know them by their fruits’

      • 1
        7

        Humble,
        Tamil leadership has been very consistent when it comes to using racism against Native Sinhalayo and stealing land belong to Sinhalayo.
        —-
        “The sinhala leadership has been very consistent when it comes to racism and stealing”

    • 9
      2

      The death of one person is a tragedy; death of a million is a statistic. So it was to Stalin and now to his cohorts.

  • 25
    4

    Ms Gunasekara @ thank u for ur excellent analysis.
    .
    But “JR Jayewardene’s subjective desire for presidency was no match against these objective realities. He designed a presidency to suit not so much the country’s needs as his own. It lacked the power-balance that is the hallmark of successful presidential systems”.
    .
    Is it right Put the entire blame on JRJ after 43 years since it was introduced? So what the successor govt did after them being elected by all means? What sho6 be role of leaders and lawmakers if they failed to implement due reform s as Indians did? And also mlechcha media and people s total ignorance, gullibility and all these should be made accountable for the mess. Designers do the job but if followers would do their role, what else can we expect? Last weeks reaction from 153 parliamentarians proved it again that they would nt care little about the real grievances of the people. As expat srilanken I think no that poor underage girl but Rajapakshes mlechcha politics should be burned down with kerosene in order to allow better systems guide future of our younger generations.😉🐕😉🐕😉🐕😉🐕☹☹☹☹☹

  • 5
    11

    So what is the alternative? Recycle the losers and then bring these people back after 5 years?

    That is the vicious cycle SL has gone through. This is not helping.

    Only solution is a peaceful split of the island into 3 mono ethnic nations. Until then no matter how bad a government is, it will unleash ethnic violence and win elections to rule the country.

    JR did it. CBK did it. Mahinda did it. Sirisena allowed it. Gota WILL do it.

    • 1
      0

      Those civil society activists from all ranks should get together and devise a strategy to construct an alternative political discourse and platform-not necessarily to gain power but to direct the discourse as a first step. If some political parties want to join them, lket they do so. establish branches in the districts and local govt areas. Feed information both ways. A nation-wide organisation of civil society members,activists,academics, journalists,teachers, trade unionists can be a powerful alliance. Structure: perhaps a governing body/committee with members from districts. It cojuld be called Citizens forum for Democratic governance.

    • 1
      2

      GATAM,
      Native Sinhalayo are not going to break their country into pieces and hand over them to ‘Paradeshi’ people who settle down in their country. If they are not happy with the decision taken by their elders, they are free to return to their ancestral Homeland across Palk Strait allowing others to live peacefully with Native Sinhalayo.

    • 3
      1

      Two.
      Muslims are Tamils practising Islam.
      Tamils are all Tamil language speaking people across the country.
      All Tamil language speaking people must unite to demand a SEPARATE Homeland.

      Soma

    • 3
      0

      There are only three indigenous ethnicities in the island. The most ancient is Vedda, then the Eelam Tamil from the North and East and lastly the Sinhalese. The country only has two languages Sinhalese and Tamil. The island can only be split into two nations. Sinhalese and Tamil, like it was before European colonization. Other than a few thousand Vedda, most of them have now assimilated into the Sinhalese and Eelam Tamil identity. In the southern and central and north western parts as Sinhalese and along the eastern seaboard and parts of the north east as Eelam Tamils. There are also only two linguistic groups now in the island and this corresponds to their actual ethnicity and origins. Sinhalese is the predominantly spoken language in the southern seven provinces, other than is the city of Colombo and the Nuwara Eliya district, where Tamil is the mother tongue of the majority. In the North and East Tamil is the predominantly spoken language in all eight districts. However there are predominantly Sinhalese speaking areas here too. The island should be divided with all predominantly Tamil speaking areas in the north, east, the north west Puttalam Chilaw region and the Nuwara Eliya district as one nation and the rest of the island as a Sinhalese nation.

      • 2
        1

        The Island’s Muslims are not not an ethnicity but a religious division. They are more than 95% descended from immigrant ethnic Indian Tamil Hindu converts to Islam and should be correctly classified as Tamil Muslims not Moors. A little bit of Arab does not make you Arab or Moor. They have no ancient history in the island nor ruling or owning lands until the late 19Th century. They largely arrived here during the British rule and the older ones as refugees, especially in the Tamil East. They have no claim to any land but have a right to live as equal citizens with dignity. Trying to now deliberately Arabizing themselves and even the failed attempt to introduce Arabic as their mother tongue, a culture and language that is alien to this ancient Hindu and Buddhist land, to justify a separate ethnicity and nation, strangely only in Tamil lands where only 28% of them live, will not work. If they want to be Tamil Muslims they can live with dignity their fellow Tamils , however if they want to be Arabs and speak Arabic and follow Arabic customs, they can pack up and to to the Arabian Gulf and see if they will be accepted there. Constantly coming here and trying to promote a separate ethnicity and a claim to part of the Tamil land only for the fake Arab immigrant converted South Indian origin Tamil Dravidian converts, who migrated to the island from what is now modern day Kerala and Tamil Nadu, largely as refugees, a few centuries ago.

  • 14
    6

    This country run by base on the race and relegion

  • 19
    4

    People should realise that which is most important for them. Is it the country? Is it the People? Is it the Language? Is it the Religion? Is it the Political party? Is it the Party leadership?
    We talk about various things but we never talk about rule of law and One law for all. The whole country is run by one family. If that is acceptable to this country and imagine that every institutions and departments run by the head of those departments family.

    • 1
      0

      Far too long we have relied on political leaders from various parties to save the country and develop it. This dream has not been fulfilled and the country has been dragged towards crony capitalist state(as was in Indonesia under Suharto family). I see the way forward is not get bogg ed down in local detail as such. Instead need to draw lessons from the history of colonialism and imperialism(which continues according to decolonial thinkers), contemporary geopolitics, etc. Firstly,We need to decolonise the way we think about politics,governance, and so on. Secondly, we need to find ways of not depending on the political class for solutions.Instead find them ourselves. For this an example can be drawn from a process happening in Australia. In various electorates this process is happening to identify key issues people face, their suggested solutions, their views about political representation, what needs to change? Only 6 Questions are asked in small group meetings called Kitchen Table Conversations(KTCs).Once information is collected from 1000 people in an electorate they are collated and a report prepared for all candidates. More importantly,the process helps to identify an independent candidate to contest elections who will follow up on the report. I recommend this model to those concerned about the politics and governance in Lanka. More information about this process ia available from this website https://wmnee.org.au/

    • 1
      4

      Ajith,
      If it is not a problem for Native Sinhalayo who elected them, why do you bother about that?
      —–
      “The whole country is run by one family.”

      • 4
        0

        ……not a problem for Native Sinhalayo who elected them…………
        Dear EE,
        You have arrogated to yourself to speak on behalf of all Sinhalayo.
        But then all the protests these last two months were not problems for them but mere outings, you think ? Or for the Non Sinhalayos ? Also they are happy with The Foreign Exchange Crisis, Fertiliser Crisis and other “problems, is it?

  • 9
    4

    Author TG, JRJ is dead and so is his dwelling. Yes, all made such past mistakes that we are like shivering babies in the snow without warm clothes. Focusing on the real present with issues that matter to spell out solutions to overcoming them is crucial. Then if leaders continue to be deaf and blind, simply indulging in their own money mania, corrupting themselves and the nation, there is a valid reason to call forth into unity all who are of one mind without bribery, without giving away votes. Focus is on SL and it’s citizens for the change in economy and political stability. Consecutive human saviors will continue to fail as you say the creed too is relevant. We need to add more to your faulty crown and mantle. The scepter, orb and throne are connected. The true king with authority and power, will then rule and reign in human affairs eliminating current lawless, loveless demonic deception, as prophesied a long time ago. He has won.

  • 1
    0

    Mangalam suddenly stepping in……..hope he don’t end up with Ranjan Ramanayaka………how those protesters all the way to Mullaitivu…..

  • 4
    0

    TG: “Rotten Creed,”Failed Gods”. A very illuminating and a fine-tuned caption to describe the rotten state of Governing affairs of Sri Lanka in brief that needed to be written in volumes. What more than (1) “Our titanic presidency is a bad fit for mortals”. (2) Sri Lanka Presidency elections are pure theatre.” (3) “The gap between the hype and reality is measurable in light-years.”

    The above-naked TRUTHS picked up from this article presented by TG explains and PROVES nothing but the need to DO AWAY with this “WHITE ELEPHANT” – the “Presidency” that neither the people nor the country is reaping any benefit. The incumbent President “GR” is “Fool-Proof” of that (3) above, viz. “The gap between the hype and reality is measurable in light-years”. So let us say loud and clear ENOUGH IS ENOUGH and NO MORE of this pure “Theatre”.

    • 2
      0

      Simon, who and how many would ever realise that the failure lies on the very people and mlechcha media mafia. Yet today only a tiny portion of the society seems to believe that main stream media spread blatant lies in order politicians could reap the harvest. This cycle move forward so long people would nt wake up from their long slumber or peopl are stupide than appeared to be. ☹☹☹☹☹☹☹

    • 2
      0

      Dear Simon,

      I found it…. please watch the video below. We as SB of this country should be even more proud.
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vc3Z396fjMA

      I challenge the kind of monks and rapists are sympathisers of Maindha Baluchinththanaya. You know that Raththaran from your area. Why the case against RATHTHARAN aka PUSHPA KUMARA burried under the carpet was the direct mediation of MAHINDA Balla Rajapakshe.
      I now believe not that innocient poor girl but Rajapakshes and their henchmen promoting rapes and other crimes should be burnt down to that manner.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pf8xDd0qKFw

  • 10
    0

    Gotabhaya is a serial liar. He and his Justice Minister Ali Sabry got together and released thousands of prisoners citing congestion in prisons and assuring that only those who were held for minor offences were chosen.
    I mentioned at least two times that Gotabhaya’s interest in prisoners is not normal, and I also said that the Rajapaksas’ illegal drug trade may be suffering from man-power shortage. My suspicions were confirmed. About two weeks ago, Police arrested a woman with illegal drugs who happened to be a hardcore drug dealer “who was sentenced to 88 years” and was pardoned by Gotabhaya!!! This shows how harmful Gotabhaya’s penchant for lying. How many more hardcore drug dealers, hardcore criminals and rapists were pardoned by Gotabhaya and how much money he and Ali Sabry charged from each and every prisoner for his/her release?

    • 7
      0

      The case of Mount Lavinia mother who sold her underaged daughter online to a large number of rapists for child-sex is now deliberately concealed by Ishalini’s case.
      State Minister-for-What, Piyal Nishantha was seen talking passionately about bringing in new laws to regularize (right?) underage domestic worker business (instead of eradicating). How about underaged girls being sold for prostitution? This State Minister-for-What didn’t say a word about about bringing in new laws to protect children from sex slavery or prostitution, which shows that the government is behind the release of a large number of rapists to the community last week. Then, there is another State Minister-for-What, Sarath Weerasekara. What did he propose to avert similar incidents in the future? Nothing.
      .
      I have already posted a comment about Ishalini in Keethaponcalan’s article. I have more questions.
      Ishalini was in the ICU for 12 days, from 3rd -15th. Now the Police says they were so “compassionate” to not to take a statement from her (my words). Alright. Why didn’t the Police visit Ishalini’s employers to take a statement from them before Ishalini succumbed to injuries? Why did they take 22 days to examine her room? Who prevented them? Puhul Hora? By the way, who admitted Ishalini to hospital? Did the Police question him/her? No, you forgot, right?

      • 6
        1

        My persistent reminder of the Mt. Lavinia child trafficking case is to highlight the brutal side of men who consider themselves privileged to molest women and children. Sometime ago, I was hesitant even to type the word rape. But not any more. The more we are silent, the more there will be violence towards women and children. Women and children in Sri Lanka will be safe only if we eliminate male violence and male privilege from our society totally.

        • 5
          1

          Champa

          “My persistent reminder of the Mt. Lavinia child trafficking case is to highlight the brutal side of men who consider themselves privileged to molest women and children.”

          What do you say to the saffron clad child molester who was caught while being an active member of a paedophile ring which sold the child on website?

          Why aren’t the Sinhala/Buddhist raging against the saffronista?

          • 4
            1

            Champa,
            U always defend Buddhist monks even if they are paedophiles and child molesters.. why is that? Who revealed all these is today jailed under criminal leadership. 80% of temples across the country is believed to be dangerous than we ever guessed at so far. If u are genuine u need to stand against them. Regardless of the place given to Sanga costume , these criminal s should be hung by their balls. Thst is what many had in the mind at the time an apolitical candidate became the leader, but to date he has proved that he even weaker that Polonnaruwa donkey. 🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕😉😉😉

            • 2
              1

              If anyone would prove the other way around about SB monks, the reward ll be a price amonunt to 10 000 €. Please champs please be real.
              Never support the criminals !!!!!🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕☹☹☹

          • 2
            2

            Keyboard Vedda
            Leelagemalli
            It is not my fault, if you have missed my comments.
            https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/an-addendum-to-a-fire-has-been-lit/comment-page-1/#comments

    • 4
      1

      Which Rajapakshe is better ? Or normal ?

      They dont care about the grievances of the people. Gotabaya does not know even how many schools this country has. Him to have made it clear ” we have ALREDAY provided Fibre optic technology to 10 000 schools” so then, only a few hundred schools remains without that access as of today… how stupid a man born to that brutal family to fall this deep ?

      So long majority of the nation are mercy cows, Not only GOTABAYA even any high criminal could mislead them.
      :
      They loot and live up their propesities on broad day light today, with PINGUTHTHAYA community are thrown to hibernation mode.

  • 2
    0

    Far too long we have relied on political leaders from various parties to save the country and develop it. This dream has not been fulfilled and the country has been dragged towards crony capitalist state(as was in Indonesia under Suharto family). I see the way forward is not get bogg ed down in local detail as such. Instead need to draw lessons from the history of colonialism and imperialism(which continues according to decolonial thinkers), contemporary geopolitics, etc. Firstly,We need to decolonise the way we think about politics,governance, and so on. Secondly, we need to find ways of not depending on the political class for solutions.Instead find them ourselves. For this an example can be drawn from a process happening in Australia. In various electorates this process is happening to identify key issues people face, their suggested solutions, their views about political representation, what needs to change? Only 6 Questions are asked in small group meetings called Kitchen Table Conversations(KTCs).Once information is collected from 1000 people in an electorate they are collated and a report prepared for all candidates. More importantly,the process helps to identify an independent candidate to contest elections who will follow up on the report. I recommend this model to those concerned about the politics and governance in Lanka. More information about this process ia available from this website https://wmnee.org.au/

  • 3
    0

    This country was a very habitable place for most everyone till this despicable bit of legislation to accommodate a president was brought in at the behest of the US by that power hungry descendant of the Thambi Mudaliyar, JRJ. JRJ came into power by marketing the “Ata Ata” slogan and changing the constitution was not mentioned in his election rallies. His first state visit was to the States and no sooner he came back, got busy preparing a new constitution which from day one started transforming this country to being one of the most uninhabitable countries in the world.The next presidential contenders should be asked to sign a legal document promising to change this presidential system of governance if he or she is elected. This could be acheived by the voters promoting a candidate of reasonable credibility who is not from any of the mainstream parties.

  • 6
    2

    No point in keep talking about what has happened and who did it. To get rid of the present menace all Anti-Rajapakse political parties, societies, associations, trade unions should form a joint-front and they should select some genuine persons for the next elections.

    • 2
      0

      Mr.Nagananda Koddituwaku…may be.along with civil societies ,students and brings new faces.as working group……develop the Predishiya sabha.
      Just suggestion

  • 4
    2

    Very soon SL will be declared bankrupt.

    Only China has the means to save SL after that. It comes at a cost. SL will become a Chinese protectorate. Fantastic outcome for most Sri Lankans who had enough of local politicians. But some in the island (especially Indians and Pakistanis) will not be happy and China knows it. They will be sent for re-education.

    Still want to keep SL in one piece?

  • 0
    0

    Considered as one of the greatest classics in Tamil literature on morality, values and ethics Kural deals on a variety of subjects, including governance which remains relevant for all times. In his magnum opus Kural, Thiruvalluvar in the section on Kingship lists several qualities as essential for a king to be an effective ruler. The following two Kurals contain a total of seven qualities that are considered by Valluvar as essential for a king to have if he were to excel as a ruler.

    Even without these desirable qualities, one could be a king. But these qualities would help him to become an outstanding ruler. There are at least eight qualities that Valluvar considers would be beneficial to a king to have a positive impact on his people and to be ranked as an outstanding king. (1) Beneficence, (2) Benevolence, (3) rectitude, (4) concern for the citizens, (5) Tolerating bitter criticism, (6) Company of Wise Counselors, (7) Being undaunted by adversities (8) Never give up.

    Valluvar might have lived at different times and ages, but the principle of good governance remains the same. In place of kings, we now have political leaders. Nearer home, Lee Quan Yew proved himself a reincarnation of an ideal king. 1/2

  • 0
    1

    Lee Quan Yew was the architect of modern Singapore, an island city-state of 6.2 million people, yet a heavyweight in regional and international affairs with a GDP per capita income of USD 58,480 (Sri Lanka USD 3,682) as of Dec. 2020.

    He laid down his vision of the future Singapore when that country was ditched from Malaysia in 1965.

    “We will not as a majority squeeze the minority… We made quite sure whatever your race, language or religion, you are an equal citizen and we’ll drum that into the people.”

    Although Chinese (76.2%) dominate Singapore, Mandarin, Malay, Tamil and English have been declared the official languages. Just compare this with the myopic mindset of SWRD Bandaranaike infamous Sinhala Only Act which polarized the country along the ethnic lineage.

    It is not the people, but the power-hungry Sinhalese leaders who have to be blamed for bankrupting Sri Lanka. 2/2

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