20 January, 2022

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Seeds Of Economic Decay

Although decision-making is far from transparent, it pays to be a member of the cozy club who knows right people

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

Never in the history of independent Sri Lanka has the economy recached such a low point as it is now. Will this be its nadir or is it yet to arrive? With just $1.5 billion foreign reserves in stock of which $300 million is gold, the country without any fresh injections into that stock, would go financially bankrupt after paying for four weeks of imports. With no funds to pay for fuel imports, the price of which is on the rise, home cooking would soon become a luxury for many, and with unavoidable and incessant power cuts the nation will literally plunge into an era of darkness. In short, no government in memory had done so much damage to the economy and in so short a time as the current Rajapaksa Government. True, the pandemic was one factor that contributed to this disaster, but it did not originate it. Even without the pandemic economic decay would have set in in the hands of a political leadership that is ideologically wedded to a historically manufactured ethno-national supremacist ideology with its majoritarian political appertinances.

Scarcity of foreign exchange is frantically chasing the three Rajapaksas GR, MR and BR to run around looking for lenders among friendly governments and their central banks for loans and currency swaps. They and the chief of CBSL are quite adamant that IMF with its conditional lending is best to be avoided in order to succeed with their homegrown experiment in or alternative path for development. People were made to believe that the President had determined to push the nation towards “prosperity and splendour” within a “disciplined, virtuous and lawful” society. Slogans remain slogans unless they are translated into pragmatic policies and action. In this, the record of this regime over the last two years had been an abysmal failure, which the President himself has admitted publicly. When the young and educated lose hope in their future they either migrate to a greener pasture or remain at home seething with discontent. Both signs are visible at present.

However, in one area there had been a flurry of activities. The regime came to power with a determination to make Sri Lanka a supremacist Theravada Sinhala-Buddhist state. From the day GR took his oath of allegiance in the Buddhist precincts of Ruwanweliseya in Anuradhapura in 2019 to MR’s unveiling of Sauda Hiru Seya in the same area just a few days ago their efforts to translate that determination into reality were quite open and elaborate, and at times disturbing. The President’s regular sessions with Buddhist prelates in his office to the exclusion of other religious leaders, his appointment of a Task Force headed more by Buddhist monks and Buddhist chauvinists than trained and qualified archaeologists to identify, excavate and protect Buddhist ruins, his callous disregard to the sentiments of members of other religions when their religious precincts were sacrilegiously treated by Buddhist monks and security officers such as what happened in a Hindu temple in Mullaitivu and the mosque in Mahara respectively, arbitrarily relaxing pandemic lock down rules during days of Buddhist festivals and peraheras, choice of a cantankerous monk to chair the One Country One Law Task Force, and the appointment of Buddhist monks with questionable ability as Chancellors of universities are glaring illustrations to prove the point. In essence, with luxury vehicles and other privileges provided to the Mahanayakas the current regime has virtually made the Sangha another parastatal. What happened to the principles of simplicity and abstinence from luxuries preached by the Buddha?

The constitution has already granted foremost place to Buddhism, but still there is a powerful section within the Buddhist community that demands Buddhism to be the state religion. The nation is anxiously waiting to see the draft of the new constitution. All in all, it appears that Rajapaksas and their power cartel believe that as long as Sinhala-Buddhists remain hallucinated with doses of ethno-religious narcotic the durability of the regime would remain solid. It is doubtful whether any of the existing opposition parties including JVP/NPP has the guts to take a contrary position on the issue of Buddhism’s political supremacy. The one who had the resolve to speak out along this line was the late Mangala Samaraweera, and how he was chastised by members of the Sangha for his outspokenness is public knowledge.

Politicization of Buddhism in independent Sri Lanka precedes the Rajapaksa regime by several decades. In fact, it goes back to the 1950s when monks from Vidyalankara Privena addressed voters from the campaign platforms of leftist parties to the chagrin of UNP leaders. However, the political value and strength of Buddhism was cleverly utilized by SWRD in 1956. Surprisingly, it was from his campaign that even the CIA was said to have learnt to instrumentalize Buddhism in the American war against communism in Southeast Asia. What began in 1950s snowballed in every election since then and once again produced victory for Rajapaksa chauvinists in 2019.

The argument here is not against Buddhism but against its politicization. In fact, politicization of any religion is detrimental to the mundane life of any society and particularly of plural societies. Europe and the West realized this truth long ago and kept the state and Church separate. Singapore was born with a secular model. Both are prospering. There is no way to find unity in diversity when one component of that plurality is treated more preferentially than others by the state. When the social foundation is cracking with divisions and discrimination how could the super structure built on it remain stable?

Basically, an economy is built by the people for the people. It is the synergy produced by their total effort that enables the economy to reach its full potential. Other inputs enumerated in textbooks are all secondary. The effort of people is the primary input. When one-third of the population is treated by the state less equally than the other two-third and therefore remain frustrated, uncommitted and un-cooperative with the state’s call for development, the volume of synergy produced in that economy would obviously be suboptimal. There may be periodic affluence at times due to certain fortuitous circumstances but sustained growth at optimum level is not possible. How then one could expect the economy to deliver prosperity and splendour? Under the current regime even its favoured two-third has begun to lose hope in its economic future. It is therefore the contention of this essay that even if the world outside were to recover from the current depression Sri Lanka would remain crisis ridden. The real seeds of economic crisis are elsewhere and buried in the country’s socio-political foundation. A new secular constitution and privatization of religion therefore become indispensable to stop the rot, restore democracy and revive economic development.

*Dr. Ameer Ali, School of Business & Governance, Murdoch University, Western Australia

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  • 26
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    “Seeds Of Economic Decay”

    Dr. Ameer Ali, ……. What the hell are you doing? This is what the people wanted and overwhelmingly voted for! ……. How dare you, not give them what they want, and make them happy? …… As Buddha said, Happiness is the key!

    If this is not what the people voted for ……. what else do you think they were expecting? Are you suggesting the people are dumb?

    It’s futile to try to save people in spite of themselves …….. 67% of the 6.9 million, will still vote for this ……. I thought you were one of the handful of Lankan scientists who are not blind to reality.

    If a man wants to drown himself ……… help him; throw him the heaviest rock you can find ……….

    • 19
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      continued

      Famines, pandemics, starvation, pestilence …….. the good Rajapakses are giving their voters heaps-a-plenty …………. and the voters are cock-a-hoop ………. jumping for joy ….. Baila all night long …….. Patcha Patcha, All Night Long ……. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YG_16UMJfWo …….. “I’m going to take you to the dentist tomorrow morning, because I’m knockin’ out all your teeth tonight.”

      Praise be to Gota’s Neptune, the Titanic sails at dawn
      Everybody’s shouting, “Which side are you on?!”
      “The dentist’s or the toothless’?”

      God says, “I will send pestilence among you.” In II Chronicles 6:28, Shyamon (or was it Solomon) says if there is pestilence, famine or blight, ……….. rejoice, that’s ye own will. …….. Ye wishes have all been granted: what is there to complain?

      Native is MIA …….. taken the last bus to Nirvana.

      • 1
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        Dr. Ali: Why are the US citizens, Goat and Basil Rajapaksa Brothers purchasing another 14 million Pfizer vaccines when the majority of the Lanka population is already vaccinated and 66 billion has been already spent of useless Covid-19 vaccines? Pfizer’s mRNA vaccines are dangerous and Pfizer is a corrupt as the WHO and US regime.
        Are the US citizens Basil and Goat who run this miracle of Modayas called Sri Lanka trying to help BAIL OUT the DEBT TRAPPED US economy which has printed $9 Trillion in the last 2 years of Covid-19 biowarfare against the world so that Black Rock Hedge Fund and its fronts like Adani and Ambani can asset strip the Global South and re-boot colonialism with a Covid MASK to make America and its White EU allies great again, and destroy the rise of Asia as the growth Hub of the World?
        Sri Lanka in the midst of the Indian Ocean is in the midst of Full Spectrum Dominance US Hybrid, cyber, maritme trade war to control all systems and turn the country into a colony as the US is the biggest ROgue State in the world and trying to destroy China and Asia. Sri Lankan politicians and parliament is a puppet show,, funded and controlled by the US today!

      • 3
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        nimal fernando

        “Native is MIA …….. taken the last bus to Nirvana.”

        I am hiding from Gas Cylinders, the new weapon in state armory, gone are the white van rides, ….. have they?

        How are you?
        Take care.

      • 5
        1

        Dr. Ameer Ali

        1) With due respect to those concerned, it has long been pretty OBVIOUS that the main issue keeping this country down since independence is INTOLERANCE based on Sinhala-Buddhist nationalism. Although the seeds were sown long prior to independence, it took a more VIRULENT turn after independence primarily for reasons of political hegemony.

        2) The issue that has not been generally commented upon is why as a country we have collectively ALLOWED this to happen unless we are collectively SUICIDAL?

        3) Why is it that even now when the population as a whole will be RECEPTIVE to be rationally EDUCATED on the crying need for UNITY, there is no move from the opposition to do so?

        4) Is not the MEDIA the main vehicle society has to address such issues?

        5) Is this not the major reason why the media is considered the ‘Fourth Estate’?

        6) Has not our media over the years let us down badly?

        7) Is it not time for society to consider having in place a genuinely INDEPENDENT agency to regulate the media? The ‘SELF REGULATION’ currently in operation is a TRAVESTY.

        Amrit Muttukumaru

    • 1
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      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

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      • 3
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        “and with unavoidable and incessant power cuts the nation will literally plunge into an era of darkness”
        Well, we’re already there, going by today’s all-island power failure.
        The CEB engineers claim to be protesting against the US LNG deal.
        They claim too that the breakdown was technical, not strike action. But two such in a week? If it actually was technical, then these overpaid “engineers” are incompetent. As a consumer, my opinion is that operation must be handed over to competent people from wherever

        • 2
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          (cont’d)
          they come from, USA, China, or India. At the exorbitant wages these guys get, I am sure there are plenty of real engineers who will do three times the work and not dabble in politics.

          • 5
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            Our goose is well and truly cooked …….. without gas or electricity …….

            Another addition to Gota’s already full bag of remarkable capabilities ………….

            • 1
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              I guess this is what Gotha meant by “Greener Lanka” – no gas, no electricity no fuel.

              • 0
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                Yes

        • 4
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          OC
          The government can use the law to stop industrial action, but not other forms of protest.
          *
          Do you seriously think that the country will get any foreign engineer who can deliver?

          • 3
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            S.J,
            Failure of the entire grid this often is a serious matter.
            Our people, engineers included, perform much better in places like the Middle East, where even annual breakdowns are unheard of. These guys are paid as much as in the ME, but don’t take their responsibilities seriously. They themselves are creating a situation where power distribution can be privatised.

            • 1
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              OC
              Attitude to work is also somewhat cultural. we have a feudal mindset in South Asia, and I will not single out the CEB.
              The point is that privatisation has not delivered either.

    • 7
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      Nf.
      “This is what the people wanted and overwhelmingly voted for! ……. How dare you, not give them what they want, and make them happy? …… As Buddha said, Happiness is the ke”.
      .
      It is not right to say that “This is what the people wanted and overwhelmingly voted for! “‐—- most of them have not the basic knowledge in mlechcha politics in srilanka..literacy rates and political literacy are two different factors. Rajapakshes would sell their mothers for their power gains. Born tasteless uncultured bastards. Look pleasing their youngest son s silly fantasies while entire nation is in a lurch- how can this be if ballige puthas have brain a size of a needle head?enough is enough these men should be hung by their balls in order to comfort the people s anger😉😉😉😉😉😉🐕😉🐕😉🐕

    • 5
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      Whole lot of people incl, LOCAL degree holders were misled by the COMBINATION of RAJAPAKSHE pompous lies and media mafia.
      :
      Is there anything that can t be done through media mafia networks ? What is in the air become their main source of news – average mind set would not care much about being said and done, they just follow the other. It is even worse when their mentality is fixed by SOUTH ASIAN so called culture (myths are filled in their heads not allowing them to grasp the little things):
      All these REVEALED to the nation, at the time, that KALIAMMA controlled DHAMMIKA PANIYA maker, Galthanna Dewagaethi thuma, Valampuri polburuwa, Ghnakka are the like parasites the manner how they twist the easy targetts of the naton. Easy targets are the majority. I have relatives, whose siblings got educated in Europe, but their families down in SRILANKA behave as if they came from ” WANNIYA”… they go after PUJA …. and PIRITH deshanas… spending millions….. Instead I give some food to ” those who are really in destitute states”. I risked for them. And will continue my own mission.

  • 25
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    Of the regular contributors, there is no one better than Ameer Ali on Economic matters. He sums up well and accurately, in concluding that the seeds of the country’s economic crisis are buried in the country’s socio-political foundation.
    How can anyone disagree.

    • 3
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      Dear Nathan,
      .
      I agree. He says it all clearly.
      However, there are others also who are good guides.
      .
      Professor Kumar David, is also absolutely honest; sometimes carried away by his optimism for change, and naturally, his adherence to Marxism. And remember that he was an outstanding scientist dealing with electrical engineering. But he will never mislead or distort.
      .
      Dr W.A. Wijewardena is also honest, but you have to read him carefully because he tries hard to educate us on Economics. He has no desire to arouse what he would consider to be unnecessary controversy. He is what he tells you that he is: a retired Deputy governor of the Central Bank. Not enough people read his articles, and not many realise how strongly he feels for the poor, having himself been from humble origins. He pedals no politics, but in reading him, remember that he is an insider who tries to get along with those who were his colleagues.
      .
      However, they are all old. Where are the younger people?

      • 3
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        Dear Sinhala_Man,
        Let me be brutally honest.
        .
        For me, ‘Dr W.A. Wijewardena is also honest’, is conditional. He is not dishonest, unconditionally. Is there a difference. Absolutely.
        When you avoid stepping on the toes of the Government it is hard for an economist to be honest.
        Wijewardena speaks as a banker. Banking is not Economics. Economics can survive without Banking; Banking needs Economics!
        .
        Kumar Davidis too fond of his Marxism. He is stuck to it. You need to change with time/times. Changing is not wrong. It denotes Growth. He has not grown, for a long time!
        .
        Thank you for creating an opportunity for me.

        • 2
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          You’re welcome to whatever opportunity I opened for you, dear Nathan.
          .
          You’re always responsible and serious!
          .
          Regards,
          .
          Panini

          • 3
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            Dear Sinhala_Man,
            There was no intent to hurt you. Sorry, if I did.
            I just took advantage of the opportunity that came my way.
            .
            I can defend my input, anytime. It is easy, when it comes from the heart.

          • 1
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            Man, man, Nathan.
            .
            Haven’t I clearly indicated that I’m not hurt?
            .
            Apart from that, I consider you a friend. I have no problem with your user name probably being only part of your real name.
            .
            You are my friend. In keeping with CT practice, I may even call you “my brother”, although as a teacher of English, I’ve been persuading students for years to understand the “English way of doing things”. However, I’ve always been telling people that we are not Europeans. Sometimes I tell them that the French and the Germans have little respect for “Brits”.
            .
            Back to topic: I have only one brother and five sisters, but I’m convinced that if we go back far enough in history, we must be related in many ways.
            .
            What I’m certain of is that you’re my good friend, even if we disagree occasionally!

            • 0
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              “From the heart, may it go to the heart” that is what this deaf man, L van Beethoven wrote, in German, about two hundred years ago:
              .
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aH7cehROJNA
              .
              72 minutes – and all in German, I think. there will be English versions as well. is it only “leelagemalli” who will understand this among CT readers?
              .
              And LM always makes comments in Sinhala as well. Great guy!
              .
              https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/sajeewa-chamikara-1-december-2021/
              .
              But let me see, the most recent article in Sinhala:
              .
              https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/champika-ranawaka-2-december-2021/
              .
              Oh, dear; it’s Champa who’s been making comments there. Now, I hope Champa isn’t going to get into her racist mood again. Champika Ramanayake is not one of my heroes. Even if she does, I will treat her with respect, because it is her own thoughts there; she’s nobody’s lackey.
              .
              One person who never was a anything close to racist was Beethoven; please go to his last (9th; aka Choral) symphony.
              .
              Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela aka “Sinhala_Man” (NIC 48 3111 444 V)

              .

            • 1
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              Dear Sinhala_Man,
              I never disagree with you; I differ. Differing is natural. Disagreeing is argumentative!
              .
              You’ll never be anything but my kin.

              • 1
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                Thanks, Nathan.
                .
                Yes, it’s a subtle but valid distinction, which we understand but nor many do.
                .
                The sentence above, written by me, is nasty in its smugness! Let’s be happy that we can think with a certain degree of clarity (but as an old man, I’m conscious of growing loss of short-term memory).
                .
                We were fortunate enough to receive a student-centered education, in small classes. We didn’t think of it as “expensive education”, but in real terms it was. It was possible because not everybody wanted such education at that time.
                .
                That had to change, as a near feudal society changed into something more egalitarian. The words trip off my fingers, but I’d like every one of my statements to be challenged by younger readers. However, that can only be done by using the two Swabashas.
                .
                As for you, dear Nathan, you and I will always be kin. I lay on my bed with the internet playing music. Fell asleep. I’ve just got up, and seen your comment. It is 5.45 am. I’m responding to it with my heart, rather than calculatedly. Yes, the “heart” – remember that is a metaphorical use of the word, though – is also important.

                • 1
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                  Thank you, Sinhala_Man.
                  Now, you have opened a topic – completely digressive -, dear to my heart. Yes, Education.
                  There is no topic more dear to my heart than Education.
                  .
                  I come from a background of ‘rote’ memory learning.
                  8X9 = 72.
                  ( 8×9= 8×10 – 9 = 80 – 9 = 72, is what my son said,when he was 3 years old!)
                  Reasoning could wait, until we grow.
                  As we grow, we’ll begin to understand the how and the why. We’ll catch up every lost ground and more, pretty fast.
                  That is my philosophy.
                  Not many takers, but I’ll hold on to it, till my death.

                  • 0
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                    CORRECTION:
                    ( 8×9= 8×10 – 9 = 80 – 9 = 72, is what my son said,when he was 3 years old!)
                    Should be,
                    6 years old!
                    .
                    I am awfully sorry.

    • 4
      1

      Dr Ameer Ali,
      .
      All sensible people must be concerned about how religion strays out of its field, and persuades people to say all sorts of unnecessary things. You are too decent and too objective to say things from a purely Muslim point of view, but the Rahjapaksas are trying hard to pedal anti-minority politics, and shamelessly distort the thinking of Buddhists into imagining that they, as Sinhalese own this island.
      .
      However, here’s some news that will startle us all:
      .
      https://themaldivesjournal.com/32127
      .
      Does nobody realise how unfairly the Palestinians are being treated by the Israeli’s? I know that it is only a private visit by the Israeli Prime Minister to one of those fantastic Maldivian resorts, but for me, unthinkable.
      .
      I know all too well how much Jews suffered under Hitler. I also know the respect that Muslims have for Judaism, which is essentially d

      • 5
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        “Does nobody realise how unfairly the Palestinians are being treated by the Israeli’s? “

        Dear Sinhala_Man
        I am sure many people do realise this — “unfairly” is quite an understatement — & after the May confrontation this year it would seem that many more people have woken up to what has been going on there. But, sadly, not enough of us really care; not enough, at least, to force our govts to act meaningfully to end this situation. It’s bad enough that so many non-Muslim countries not only condone but also positively assist the Zionist state in its repression, oppression of the Palestinians. The US gives it something like $3 billion annually! But even harder to accept, speaking for myself, is the collaboration & even more, of so many Middle Eastern countries with the triumphant oppressor in their midst. And now the Emirates are granting Israelis full citizenship! Is this the beginning of a greater Israel?

        I grew up in England during & after the war, & acquired very early a kind of existential guilt about the Jews — as I think, many young people in Britain must have once they learnt about the Holocaust. So much so that I was determined to go & work in a kibbutz. I was quite ignorant of other political affairs, current affairs.

        • 2
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          Oh dear, looks like I exceeded the word limit — so the last paras with the main point of my harangue have been chopped. And I cant recollect just how I finished up. Next time I must remember to save my post so I can later repeat the missing part.
          But one thing I mentioned is the realisation — rightly or wrongly– that Sri Lankans are not particularly concerned about this huge injustice, crime, and a question like Sinhala_Man’s is like water off a duck’s back here.

          • 2
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            Oh, another part CT has cut is my transition from blind support for Israel, embedded in assumed guilt, to the horrified recognition of the dispossession, near destruction of the hapless, many centuries-old inhabitants of the land.

            What proportion of the world’s Jewry is actually descended from that small, distant “people” who believe their God gave them Israel? Probably a very very small fraction — because Judaism, like all religious beliefs, has acquired converts down the ages. Yet everyone of them & their descendants are automatically citizens of the land, the colony, called “Israel”.
            __
            May I urge doubters to read some of the writing of Israeli history prof from Tel Aviv university, Shlomo Sand, on the Invention of the Land of Israel, & the Invention of the Jewish People.

            • 1
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              Manel, S.M,
              Much of the deification of Israel comes from an uninformed confusion that the current state of “Israel” is the same one that is in the Bible. It was pretty clever of the Zionists to pick that name instead of “Palestine”.
              I have met many people who have visited the Holy Land and think Israel is a Christian country!
              Before the Holocaust, it was Christians who persecuted Jews, but since then, Christian guilt has made Israel into a holy cow. Israel is as much of an European settler society as South Africa used to be.

            • 0
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              Manel has a few very sincere and strongly felt concerns. One of them is the plight of Palestinians.
              .
              Another is the dignity of women. I have never met her or spoken to her. Long ago, I surmised that she was a sweet lady – and almost had my head bitten off (metaphorically, since I’m a hundred miles away).
              .
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itU_0fICbtM
              .
              The thing is, oc, one way or another, Palki Sharma there is a woman whom we all think is very attractive. Now is that a sexist statement, I wonder?

        • 2
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          The US, UK, and the EU, are complicit in ALL of Israel’s crimes against humanity.
          Israel plays the long suffering victim, plays the anti-semitic card, and gets away with murder. In May the world watched with horror as its deadly bombs killed 68 children, wiped out entire families, all while justifying the violence saying they are “defending” themselves. Which begs the question, why do these western nation parrot the same excuse, while in reality Israel with one of the most brutal military (IDF) and deadly weapons (gifted by uncle Sam and other western nations) have to defend themselves from unarmed civilians, stones and homemade rockets?
          Israel blames Hamas, but without Hamas Israel cannot justify the above crimes, the brutal occupation, and the shameful land theft.
          Shame on those Arab nations like the UAE, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia, who have thrown the Palestinians under the bus, and now cozy with the occupier.

  • 9
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    Nimal I am not sure whether you follow Daily Mirror, digital edition. For what ever it’s worth they do publish some articles close to reality. Today there is one by G.A.D Srimal titled ” we were taken on a majestic ride . This is in response to article by popular journalist K.K.S. Perera’s article on November 29 titles “price of Brinjals men had to pay ” ( I believe he was a contributor before but not anymore seen in CT) The facts are same but K.K.S.P blames the voters whereas G.A.D.S defends voters and blame the parties for not giving options. I wonder why C.T cannot find such articles instead of Rusiri, DJ and many others here.

    • 0
      0

      “I am not sure whether you follow Daily Mirror, digital edition.”

      chiv,

      Ray Charles could’ve seen this coming. ………. No, I don’t read much ……. just look at the motives of the people in control ……. intuitively we know that …….that tells you all you need to know ……

      5 years wasted …… then we are ready for the next ride ……….


      I just shoot the breeze here …….. for some relaxation ………..

  • 20
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    Why do you think those who ran away to USA permanently came back to Sri Lanka? Is it to protect the country or protect the rest of the family? Yes, the family is economically and financially is a success story but those 22 millions who are permanently live in this country is bankrupt economically and financially. Do you think that they are going around the world to get loans by selling Sri Lanka to its main enemies India and USA and friendly China to save Sri Lanka? No they still want to get deals to the family. What they did so far? They spent Billions to put Buddha statues in Anurhadapura and Mullaitivu and Batticaloa. They released murderers and drug dealers from jail and put Muslim politicians and journalists in Jail. They get help from Sahapdeen to come back to power and make them as kings. They created Harbour , Airport and Cricket stadium on their name and printed money notes with their cut outs. They made farmers to become poor, they made gas cylinders to kill the people and asked to eat once a day. You have no alternative to accept it.

  • 6
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  • 6
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  • 3
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    The satire in a couple of the comments could be lost on some readers.
    When we were working in the public sector or even in our general work linked to society we never worked on a basis of religion or race.

    The modus operandum of this leadership and the seeds of disharmony and discord being spread by them is damaging the social networking of individuals too.
    There are several families, including that of the Prime Minister who have Tamil/Hindu, Muslim and Christian family members in their extended families.

    Why are we not sensitive to that aspect of our lives? Don’t we, the voters realize the damage we are bringing down on ourselves? Have we become so inhuman in our dealings with each other OR has the nation, over the years, after independence cultivated this animosity towards “the other”?
    A conversation overheard in a supermarket:…” so let them leave the country and go where they think they will be treated more justly”! The nation bleeds.

  • 8
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    I agree with your broad sentiments, Ameer. Sri Lanka will NEVER be a successful country until and unless it becomes a tolerant and pluralistic country integrating the dominant Sinhalese Buddhists, Sinhalese Christians/Catholics, Tamils and Muslims. I hope I am not leaving anyone out. Now that the past “Decade of Corruption” (2005-2015) has been surpassed and the rot of the economic situation is dire, the country appears to be nowhere! Science is at stake as Universities and technological institutions struggle with inadequate funding and management. The fertilizer ban, now revoked, and the comedy show of “Organic Agriculture”, money printing, financial mismanagement plus a myriad of other diabolical and ill-formed decisions prove the decay. The seeds of dis-harmony sown some decades ago, nurtured by radicals and terrorists, have now grown well past seedlings to be robust trees! (pardon the botanical analogy). It would be a miracle if this corrupt country can be salvaged. I pity the poor masses, who were misled.

    • 1
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      Wrong. That will never happen.

      Only solution is one island 3 mono ethnic nations.

      Until then SL will continue its path to further ruin, riots, war, bombs, extremism, terrorism, etc.

      One Island 3 Mono Ethnic Nations!

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    “The constitution has already granted foremost place to Buddhism, but still there is a powerful section within the Buddhist community that demands Buddhism to be the state religion”
    —-
    Islam is the State religion in Muslim majority countries who are the members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). If Muslims can have Islam as the State religion why Sri Lanka with 75% Buddhists cannot have Buddhism as the State religion written in the Constitution?

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      Eagle Blind Eye

      “If Muslims can have Islam as the State religion why Sri Lanka with 75% Buddhists cannot have Buddhism as the State religion written in the Constitution?”

      If you steal they chop your hands, if you commit adultery, they impose death penalty by stoning or they flog you until you are castrated, …………………..

      Why don’t you impose such punishments as well?

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      Eagle Eye Segmented Vision,
      “If Muslims can have Islam as the State religion why Sri Lanka with 75% Buddhists cannot have Buddhism as the State religion written in the Constitution?”
      Ofcourse, you can! Why not?
      At the same time write in the constitution 4 wives are allowed, as long as the husband can and able to provide for their well being.
      Continue with MMDA!!
      Poor, ‘One Country, One Law’ Gnanasara, may have to be ditched.
      SL can discriminate against minorities and Muslims, but continue to beg from IOC for their Largesse!!!
      What shameless crap, only best articulated by Konde Naththi Gamini L P and his “working Lunch”!!!!
      The bigots’ who do not remember what happened the day before?

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    Seeds Of Economic Decay was planted by Don Stephen. He started with Estate exports by deporting Estate Tamils. It is now fertilized by the Chinese Hunu importers, the “Royal Commission Collectors”. Then set fire with the LPG mix, like the Hanuman in Ramayana.
    Chinese Hune can nourish the Rapist Army Brinjal Marketers to fertilize the egg-pants inside the parliament.
    Somebody(voters) seems to confuse the “mirage” they chase as a miracle about to happen. For 75 years the country kept falling. Now suddenly an angel is going to be born and reverse the trend? If a Sinhala Thirunavukkarasar is born, he may plough all the baron bald heads and plant seeds to make them grassy. Then the landscape of Lankawe may change from barren to green.

    Rotten – Idiots inside the parliament are not suitable even for manure. Country is not able to take if an extra inch of rain falls. Everything for which the “1948- Ceylon” was known is gone. These rowdies keep showing their, infested rotten mouths widely opening inside the parliament.

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    We can blame each other tribes for the problem but that is not going to resolve anything.

    The only solution is to split the island into 3 mono ethnic nations equitably and relocate people.

    Until that is done the entire island will be further ruined while tribes will blame each other for the problems. A vicious cycle with no end until China, USA and India share the island amongst them. Not a bad outcome though.

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    According to media reports the Rajapaksa’s recently feted Arabs and asked for economic help.
    It takes some gall to keep a straight face and beg these wealthy Muslim nations for help, considering the Rajapaksa’s disgraceful anti Muslim policies and their efforts to discriminate Muslims even when it came to burying their dead, against the advice of the WHO and medical experts. They have arrested and thrown into jail Muslim professionals, and refuse to give them their rightful representation in court. They have tried to harass and discriminate the minority, to please their racist base.

    So if Muslims are bad, why are we going to Muslim nations with the begging bowl? Where is that nation pride?

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    ………..Politicization of Buddhism in INDEPENDENT Srilanka precedes the Rajapakse regime by several decades………..
    writes Dr.Ameer Ali who has persuasively argued that the seeds of economic decay was this politicization of Buddhism.

    But the crusader and father of political Buddhism was around even prior to Independence.
    By the time of his death in the early 1930s, Anagarika Dharmapalas narrow and inflexible self-portrait of the Sinhalese,as a chosen people,since time immemorial, was fixed in the popular imagination.His intoxicating Political Buddhism had been propagated among generations of Buddhists educated in schools originally founded by Col:Olcott.
    Col:Olcott saw Buddhism as a worldly and scientific philosophy for all people and for all ages.
    Dharmapala changed all that with his dreamy spiritualism and capricious intellect. He came to regard Buddhist practice as a vehicle for Sinhalese hegemony…………

    The foundation laid by Dharmapala has been taken forward by the Rajapakses almost upto roof level.with another superstructure side by side-Economic decay………..

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      Plato,
      Deeds of Anagarika Dharmapala is folklore, now.
      .
      I’ll begin with KMP Rajaratne, a Sinhala nationalist, of our time. He stirred up Sinhala Nationalism with fellow nationalist F R. Jayasuriya. Later, Cyril Matthew espoused their cause.
      .
      Mathew was expelled from the Cabinet and Party by JR for criticising a conference arranged by JR to redress grievances of minority Tamils. His successor Premadasa, however, reinstated his party membership!
      .
      I can go on. The narration is endless.

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    SL, unfortunately, had self serving leaders. Subtle corruption became blatant in recent years with cronies also jumping in the gravy train. The average Sinhala voter is racist deep down & has a misguided knowledge of Buddhism, which includes monks, as well. MR’s cronyism, nepotism & corruption are excused by the deep sense of ‘gratitude’ for ‘saving’ the country, the Sinhala race & Buddhism, as believed by these ‘patriots’. ‘Yahapalanaya’ failed because we had a President, whose party happened to be in the opposition & a lassez faire PM from the ruling party, an opposing combination that would never work. The President, a slimy uneducated yob, far out of his depth, passed his responsibility by undermining the govt. & the poor voter had no choice but to vote for the known devil, next time round, & here we are, deeper in the shit hole.

    The country is in the worst economic state in its history. Massive corruption, incompetence, ignorance & mismanagement are to be blamed. In any employment, ignorance is no excuse, incompetence is not tolerated & corruption is a criminal offence but in SL, from the President, PM & the Ministers to CB Governor & all the political cronies, continue their merry ways. Is there anyone capable of leading the country out of this mess? Sadly, I don’t think so, corruption & cronyism, is accepted in third world politics.

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      “SL, unfortunately, had self serving leaders.”
      True, but anyone worse than Tony Blair?

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        No. White van expert? Murder of Journalist?

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          Look outside your well.

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        SJ

        I am not a fan of Tony B. but with all his faults, he didn’t plunder the country. Current PM Boris J is probably the most useless PM of UK so far. He is a joker, blundering his way & known for cronyism but he too, is under public scrutiny & no way he is able line his pockets as the SL politicians. SL politicians can run rings round them when it comes to corruption.

        It is my understanding that duty free cars had been ordered once again for the politicians, even at this time of economic catastrophe. If that is true, has any politicians, including the socialist JVP, refused the windfall? As long as there are generous perks, the politicians will be self serving.

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    Learned writer as you write from Australia I assume a broad liberal attitude.

    You write about seeds of economic decay, I would have used the word “causes”, instead of “seeds” of decay.

    What do you think of “seeds” of civilizational decay ? What happened in Pakistan , the lynching of a human being surely is a denial of civilization.

    Have these people benefitted from their conversion or have they become stupid zealots of something they have no proof of ? Please give us your thoughts. No point in saying others also have done similar things, others are not so “religious” !

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      deepthi silva,
      .
      The problem with you is that you imagine that there are no liberal-minded people in Lanka.
      .
      I know that I’m not great or distinguished, but it must be from the way that I write, you told me that I was a hypocrite living in some affluent “Western country”
      .
      Can’t you get it into your silly head that there are perfectly decent people in Lanka? It may be true that their voices are rarely heard, and that our will rarely prevails.
      .
      I may be beginning to sound like Cato the Elder (or was it the Younger) who finished every speech by warning about the threat from the Carthaginians? I’ve begun to warn about Youtubes – specifically about the fact that the “Dislike” button doesn’t work. With what result?
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe from the Province where Veddas still live.

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      “Learned writer as you write from Australia I assume a broad liberal attitude.”
      deepthi silva — Ameer Ali may write from Australia, but the cake was baked at home. He had already been a university lecturer here for sometime before emigrating. We enjoyed his hospitality in his Katankudy home.
      Besides, there are probably as many people here with broad liberal attitudes as there are in Australia lacking them — as Sinhala_Man has pointed out.

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    Eagle Eye Segmented Vision,
    “If Muslims can have Islam as the State religion why Sri Lanka with 75% Buddhists cannot have Buddhism as the State religion written in the Constitution?”
    Ofcourse, you can! Why not?
    At the same time write in the constitution 4 wives are allowed, as long as the husband can and able to provide for their well being.
    Continue with MMDA!!
    Poor, ‘One Country, One Law’ Gnanasara, may have to be ditched.
    SL can discriminate against minorities and Muslims, but continue to beg from IOC for their Largesse!!!
    What shameless crap, only best articulated by Konde Naththi Gamini L P and his “working Lunch”!!!!
    The bigots’ who do not remember what happened the day before?

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