By Tisaranee Gunasekara –
“The rock is still rolling” – Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus)
A song posted on the You Tube comparing President Maithripala Sirisena with ancient kings of Pollonnaruwa gave rise to a storm of social-media protests and was removed within hours. Parliamentarian Hirunika Premachandra was arrested for her alleged involvement in the Kollonnawa abduction.
It would have been better if that hagiographic video was never made. It would have been better if Ms. Premachandra didn’t try to take the law into her hands. But the song was killed and the AG ordered Ms. Premachandra’s arrest. Such correctives would have never happened under Rajapaksa rule.
One year on, the situation is not as good as we hoped for, but infinitely better than what went before.
President Sirisena is not immune to the germs of grandeur. He too might like to rule untrammelled and long, to become a king in all but name. But given the actual disposition of forces and balance of power, there is very little he can do to turn those yearnings into reality. His hold over the SLFP is tenuous at best and his survival depends on continued support of the UNP. The powers of the presidency have been clipped by the 19th Amendment. At least a segment of the public is vigilant and assertive as never before; and they can air their opinions on any and all subjects without fear.
The restoration of democracy has been a key achievement of the January 8th victory. The task is far from complete and the risk of regression remains, but that is a normal condition even in advanced democracies. President Sirisena governs rather than rules give or take an occasional antic. The government he presides over does not revolve around his family; it is the most inclusive and collegiate administration in living memory. He has hinted that he might remain in politics after he retires from the presidency in 2020, but dynastic succession is not something we need to worry about today. No individual holds too much power now; therefore the harm they can do by abusing power is also limited.
And there is a very real possibility that a more democratic constitution will be drafted and promulgated in a democratic manner.
Given what was, these are changes to be happy about.
Some things old, some things new
In the one year since the momentous defeat of the Rajapaksa project much has changed and much (alas) remains the same. We still have a mammoth cabinet (which continues to grow); but ministers don’t whiz around in convoys as if they own the earth. Corruption and waste remain, but on a lesser scale and at a lower intensity. The rule of law is yet to be completed but impunity no longer reigns. Politicians still abuse power but the media can report and the people can protest, without fearing for their lives. Police still attack demonstrators and kill suspects and non-suspects, but they can no longer get away with such abuses.
Politicians remain as venal, corrupt and power-hungry as ever, but the less unintelligent ones have become more aware of the new limits on power and its use. This became particularly evident when President Sirisena tried to play at cultural policing with his puerile remarks about bra-throwing and whipping. He was clearly unhappy about the veritable storm of protests which greeted his ill-advised comments; he might even have wished he could mute those voices of criticism and ridicule. But he cannot, he knows he cannot and he stops at pique.
Ethno-religious racism is far from dead, but it has been banished from centre stage to the margins of polity and society. Many Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims still mistrust and perhaps even fear each other, but the danger of a new conflagration has dwindled, for now.
The new government inherited an economy caught in a debt trap. Instead of acknowledging this reality, the administration has adopted a Micawberish policy of denial and unrealistic optimism. Like its predecessor, it is becoming addicted to borrowing and spending, and not on essentials either, if the reported purchase of fighter jets (whatever for?) is correct. This road is likely to come to a dead-end soon; and the danger of the government veering in the opposite extreme and imposing even more hardships on the already burdened populace is very real. Economics was the Achilles Heel of the Rajapaksas. This might become true of the new administration as well.
Political scientist and historian Archie Brown in The Myth of the Strong Leader introduces two leadership categories – the redefining leader and the transformational leader. Professor Brown describes redefining leader as one who stretches ‘the limits of possible in politics and radically alters the political agenda’. That was the Himalayan task the Lankan opposition was confronted with during the last presidential election. It had to convince enough voters that the Rajapaksas should and could be defeated.
The opposition won because it was able to face that challenge successfully.
The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration’s performance would have been far more positive had it not abandoned this redefining role in its very first year in power. In such seminal areas as corruption, waste, nepotism and justice, the administration displays a disturbing penchant for aping the Rajapaksas.
There are no ethnic or religious crimes. Minister Bathiudeen and his supporters are reportedly guilty of encroaching on the Wilpattu sanctuary, but degradation of environment is not a Muslim crime. Nor is it a Sinhala-Buddhist or a military crime, despite the fact that 15 soldiers were caught this week felling trees in the Wilpattu sanctuary. The destruction of environment is a human crime. Similarly there are no Rajapaksa crimes. The Rajapaksas committed many crimes, but they are crimes even if committed by the most fervent opponents of the Rajapaksas. There is no better vindication of the Rajapaksas than the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration continuing with Rajapaksa policies and practices.
The Rajapaksa way didn’t even work for the Rajapaksas. It will certainly not work for the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration. If the government takes clear steps to minimise corruption, waste, nepotism and abuse in its own ranks, if it abides by its own oft-declared principles, the populace might be willing to back it, despite growing economic hardships. But if the government allows its own to ape the worst practices of the previous regime and act like so many tin-pot dictators, come economic hardships the populace will begin to look elsewhere.
And in the Sinha Le banner of the Rajapaksas they might misperceive the way to another promised land.
The Sinha Le Madness
The sudden sprouting of the ‘Sinha Le’ (Blood of the Lion) movement is almost a remake of the sudden sprouting of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS).
The Rajapaksas used minority-phobia as a political tool to distract the attention of Sinhala-Buddhists from growing economic ills. The creation of the ‘halal issue’ was an excellent case in point. The BBS and others of its ilk were used by the then ruling family to addle Sinhala-Buddhist minds with fear and hate and to threaten the minorities into subservience.
The Sinha Le initiative is another Rajapaksa freak show with a similar purpose – incite minority phobia among Sinhala-Buddhists and use that as a pathway for the Rajapaksas to regain lost power. This week, Gotabaya Rajapaksa publicly pronounced the need for a new political party. What we are witnessing is the birth of a third force – or perhaps a second-and-a-half force, because it is still located within the SLFP – which is neither leftist nor progressive. It uses a dose of anti-imperialist rhetoric to hide its racism and obscurantism.
When Mahinda Rajapaksa, a self-proclaimed child of 1956, became the President, Sinhala-Buddhist supremacists got a government that was theirs in every sense of the word, a government of ‘Sinha Le’ tough guys. Mahinda Rajapaksa was the leader the Sinhala supremacists always dreamt of but never had. This constituency is rather like the American hard right backing Donald Trump or the French extremists supporting Marine Le Pen. They share the Rajapaksa anger at the January 8th defeat. Like the Rajapaksas they too dream of making a comeback. They need the Rajapaksas just as the Rajapaksas need them. It is a mutually beneficial alliance which is likely to become stronger as the economy weakens.
The Rajapaksas made one premature attempt to regain power and failed. Now they seem to be playing a waiting game. Trying to redefine the political centre in Sinhala-Buddhist supremacist terms is part of that slow politico-ideological build up, as is the re-legitimisation of the cult of the strong leader. That was what Namal Rajapaksa was trying to do when he publicised a picture of his father hanging upside down like a bat during a yoga session.
If the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration fails to handle the economy, the resultant crisis will be depicted as a problem created by the ‘privileged minorities’ to beggar the ‘disadvantaged majority’. A variety of National Socialism (based on an apocryphal politico-economic analysis of minority capitalism exploiting the poor Sinhalese) has always been part of Lankan leftism. It is this hoary old tradition the Rajapaksas and their allies are trying to resurrect.
The huge parliamentary majority currently enjoyed by the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration is an ephemera, something which can change in a matter of weeks if not days. All those who pole-vaulted to gain a position or escape from prosecution will jump right back, the moment the government becomes mired in the economy.
The government has two key political tasks to perform – a new, more democratic constitution and a political solution to the ethnic problem. The Rajapaksa clique will oppose both measures tooth and nail. The ‘country is in danger’ scream has become shriller. As the parliament gets down to the task of drafting a new constitution, the Rajapaksa cohorts will try to subvert it from within and oppose it from without.
Sinha Le is a reference to the Mahavamsa myth about the origin of the Sinhala people. That inane tale about a union between a lion and a princess and the equally apocryphal story about their grandson (a product of an incestuous union between a parricide brother and a sister) receiving the long-distance blessings of the Buddha have been used by everyone from anti-devolution politicians to hardline monks, from academics to military men, from novelists to lay people, to justify Sinhala Buddhist supremacism and to oppose any political concessions to the minorities. The revival of that blood-and-faith nationalism is a sign that the Rajapaksas are planning to ignite a racist conflagration and come to power in its wake.
The end result will be a disaster for all concerned, including Sinhala-Buddhists. Extremists and fanatics begin with destruction and end with self-destruction.
That is why the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration must reclaim its role as redefining leaders. The Rajapaksa attempt to shift the political centre to the right, to render ethno-religious racism respectable again needs to be resisted. But this cannot be done successfully unless the government tries to honour the basic principles of good governance. Good governance is not a label to affix on oneself for perpetuity but a set of practices which needs to be reaffirmed daily.
If the government ceases to mishandle the economy and takes visible, tangible steps to honour its own commitments, the Rajapaksa plan fail and Sri Lanka would be able to continue her journey to a more democratic, inclusive and tolerant future. The sort of future we hoped for when we voted for a change on January 8th.
Amarasiri / January 10, 2016
Tisaranee Gunasekara –
RE: Shadow & Light
“But the song was killed and the AG ordered Ms. Premachandra’s arrest. Such correctives would have never happened under Rajapaksa rule.”
Yes, Yes and Yes. This is Yahapalanaya, Good Governance.
“His hold over the SLFP is tenuous at best and his survival depends on continued support of the UNP. The powers of the presidency have been clipped by the 19th Amendment. “
“If the government ceases to mishandle the economy and takes visible, tangible steps to honour its own commitments, the Rajapaksa plan fail and Sri Lanka would be able to continue her journey to a more democratic, inclusive and tolerant future. The sort of future we hoped for when we voted for a change on January 8th”
So, we are awaiting the arrest of the Killers..
President wreaking havoc : Blocks arrest of Rajapakse siblings in Thajudeen murder ; interferes in Ekneliyagoda investigations and with FCID
Lanka grape Vine, Bulath Vine and Vettila News. Based on the evidence that have surfaced in connection with the ghastly cruel murder of Thajudeen the Rugby player , though it is possible to arrest both Namal Rajapakse and Yoshitha Rajapakse , but because of the pressures exerted by president Maithripala Sirisena , the arrests are thwarted, according to information reaching Lanka e news inside information division. Earlier on too the media reported one of the Rajapakse siblings was to be taken into custody , that too was obstructed on pressures brought to bear on it by the president.
Meanwhile , the CCTV recordings relating to the Thajudeen murder forwarded to the computer division of the Colombo University for investigation are blurred because of the light flashing on the pictures ,and consequently , the video recordings cannot be made out , the information system Manager S.C.M. B. Dissanayake of the University computer faculty had informed Colombo additional magistrate Nishantha Peiris yesterday, while recommending that those video recordings be subjected to a foreign investigation.
Lanka grape Vine, Bulath Vine and Vettila Newsis in receipt of reports that in the FCID investigations in connection with the suspects – Rajapakse siblings , president Maithripala is applying intense pressures . Even when Lalith Weeratunge the secretary to the ex president Mahinda Rajapakse was summoned to the FCID pertaining to the Sil clothes colossal fraud , the president has furiously berated DIG Ravi Waidyalankara the chief of the FCID via the phone. It is also learnt that in the Siriliya account involvement of Shiranthi Rajapakse , because of the intense pressures applied by the president , the investigation has been suspended.
Lanka grape Vine, Bulath Vine and Vettila Newsinside information service within the Presidential secretariat reveals that DIG Waidyalankara who was conducting investigations impartially so far is to be replaced by DIG S.M. Wickremesinghe the president’s secret friend who became notorious as the ‘helup karaya’ of the President when the latter goes gallivanting in the nights after facial ‘make up’ is done for the president by Royal cosmetic expert . Indeed the family of Maithripala had complained that DIG Wickremesinghe is trying to break up the family based on these night outings.It is reported plans are afoot to hand over the FCID to this DIG Wickremesinghe who accompanies Maithripala when he turns into prince charming in the nights and creeps out. Wickemesinghe is the son of a Goviraja of Polonnaruwa.
It is learnt that the president during the last several days using his close SLFP ministers castigated the FCID through media briefings . This is believed to be a part of the plan driven by the ulterior motive to make the FCID submissive and make it dance according to his villainous tune.
It has by now become crystal clear that providing legal aid by the army to the army suspects in the murder of Prageeth Ekneliyagoda , which has never ever happened before in the country’s history is being carried out with the president’s consent . Hence the Civil organizations are throughly disappointed and disillusioned over it. They have expressed their displeasure in this regard.
A Civil organization leader Saman Rathnapriya making a statement today said , the defense secretary Hettiarachi had pressurised the Attorney General’s department to withdraw Dileepa Peiris who is the state counsel ,from the Ekneliyagoda case . It is noteworthy Dileepa Peiris is taking a firm stand against legal aid being provided to the army suspects in Ekneliyagoda’s case.
In the meantime , Josef Stalin the secretary of the Teachers association convening a media briefing yesterday said , “a group is saying ,in the Ekneliyagoda murder investigations, the heroes of the forces have been taken into custody . Just because they fought a war , it does not mean anybody is issued license to kill people. The Brigadier who is responsible for the shooting in the Rathupaswala incident has returned to the country. No action has been taken agaisnt him either.In the report of the Human Rights Commission , it is clearly mentioned , the law shall be enforced against those who did the shooting and who gave the orders. Until today nothing has been done in this regard. It is most intriguing and a big issue to us why this government too is giving protection to them,” Stalin pointed out.
Amarasiri / January 10, 2016
“The opposition won because it was able to face that challenge successfully.”
“The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration’s performance would have been far more positive had it not abandoned this redefining role in its very first year in power. In such seminal areas as corruption, waste, nepotism and justice, the administration displays a disturbing penchant for aping the Rajapaksas.”
Whatever criticism we have, all must be thankful for getting roid of Mara, MaRa Chatu MaRa, Amana MaRa.
The Amana MaRa is displaying his character with the Sinha-Le , BuRu Le , Para-Le Campaign.
Rajash / January 10, 2016
Are you sure the Sinhala Le is not a Norwegian conspiracy headed by me?
Amarasiri / January 12, 2016
“Are you sure the Sinhala Le is not a Norwegian conspiracy headed by me?”
Must ask Eric Solheim. He should know.
JJ / January 10, 2016
“If” only ….
Wishful thinking, but what alternative do we have?
Nice one – as usual, Tisaranee.
Afzal / January 10, 2016
Is this true ?
“Mahavamsa myth about the origin of the Sinhala people. That inane tale about a union between a lion and a princess and the equally apocryphal story about their grandson (a product of an incestuous union between a parricide brother and a sister) receiving the long-distance blessings of the Buddha “
I know about the lion coupling the princess part, that’s a story. but the rest ?
Why is it that no one is making effort to clear this myth ?
Amarasiri / January 10, 2016
“Why is it that no one is making effort to clear this myth ?”
Keeping the Myth is very advantageous.
It must be in the Hall of Fame of Myths, along with the Other myths.
Mythology is a collection of myths, especially one belonging to a particular religious or cultural tradition of a group of people–their collection of stories they tell to explain nature, history, and customs–or the study of such myths.
As a collection of such stories, mythology is a vital feature of every culture. Various origins for myths have been proposed, ranging from personification of nature, personification of natural phenomena to truthful or hyperbolic accounts of historical events, to explanations of existing ritual. Although the term is complicated by its implicit condescension, mythologizing is not just an ancient or primitive practice, as shown by contemporary mythopoeia such as urban legends and the expansive fictional mythoi created by fantasy novels and comics. A culture’s collective mythology helps convey belonging, shared and religious experience, behavioural models, and moral and practical lessons.
The study of myth dates back to antiquity. Rival classifications of the Greek myths by Euhemerus, Plato’s Phaedrus, and Sallustius were developed by the Neoplatonists and revived by Renaissance mythographers. Nineteenth-century comparative mythology reinterpreted myth as a primitive and failed counterpart of science (E. B. Tylor), a “disease of language” (Max Müller), or a misinterpretation of magical ritual (James Frazer).
Some recent approaches have rejected a conflict between the value of myth and rational thought, often viewing myths, rather than being merely inaccurate historical accounts, as expressions for understanding general psychological, cultural or societal truths.
Non PhD / January 10, 2016
You said it all. If the MS – Rani regime takes in your suggestions Mother Lanka will have a bright future.
Hope the majority of the majority takes your analysis seriously too.
Fathima / January 10, 2016
So true, Tisaranee. The present government isn’t exactly delivering, and many are the instances when they are no different to the Rajapaksa regime. However, they are still many shades better than the previous government, at least for now. A lot rests on us hoi poloi to keep watch, protest when they’re veering in the wrong direction, and if they don’t listen, then use our vote again.
Vibhushana / January 10, 2016
Yes, even Yasmin Sooka is out with yet another white van tale.
The domestic investigation is due to begin this week.. These things always co-indices with a human rights events.
Its the Tamil extremists in the shadows thinking they are cleaver. They find an idiot like JimmySofty, pays him few rupees to throw rocks at Muslim people.
Jim softy / January 11, 2016
first have balls:
Which camp is TG representing, the Church or the Europe ?
Spring Koha / January 10, 2016
I choked when I got to the bit where Tissaranee wrote ‘The government he presides over does not revolve around his family;’
I started to say “so true” then checked myself when I noticed my nose growing longer.
To think that when old MR started we hardly knew his family – not in the first year anyway – and now we already are on first name terms with Daham S, Chathurika S, Kumarasinghe S……that’s enough for now.
Spring Koha / January 10, 2016
What we are witnessing with Daham and Chathurika is the early manifestation of the Sirisena dynasty. Maithripala Sirisena sees them as his legacy to the people of Polonnaruwa. Chathurika fancies herself as the poor man’s Chandrika, though Daham has all the makings of a future Mervyn Silva. Those who know the boy better, report that he is thicker than a string of old style Keels sausages, and sporting a strong sense of entitlement. Some go so far as to describe him, as those of a certain disposition would, a proper shit (not dissimilar to the many brats of recent ministerial vintage then). They could be big noises come the 2040’s.
Some years ago Fidel Castro said to Gabby Marquez that all he ever really wanted to do was stand on street corners and watch the girls go by. Similarly, our President seems to be happiest doing nothing more than singing, and particularly with the legendary Ameradeva. Mr President would dearly love to be remembered for upholding and defending our ancient civilisation and its culture, and so he naturally went against advice and spoke out, from the heart, on matters that in the fullness of time will prove utterly ridiculous. His proposal on the use of the ‘maduvalige’ should be taken as sheer exasperation rather than as a policy statement.
There are indeed sinister forces behind the current ‘Sinhala-Le’ campaign and you are right to join the dots that take us back to those who would like to see our deposed defender back on the throne. In fact, as you well know, there are an appreciable number of two-faced bastards who are now serving in the government of this day, while breaking bread after hours with who they hope will call the shots in the next government. Nothing new, then. The point is that ethno-religious tensions are rising once again, and unless urgent and immediate action is taken will continue until once again it drives divisions and stirs up disharmony, providing just the sort of conditions for the Sinhala-Buddhists to panic.
One year on, and, YES things are better but only just. NO we never expected too much from the ‘100 days’ pledge, but we did NOT expect to see the in-your-face nepotism and cronyism that has come to pass, AND we did not expect to see the President and his PM so blatantly override our democratic wishes and bring back the black guards we threw out.
Not everything in the garden is rosy, Tisaranee.
Ansar / January 10, 2016
Very balanced article as usual, after along lapse though. Keep writing often, you really open up some warped minds with your articulate analysis. Your write ups would definitely contributed to the downfall of the most CORRUPT, BRUTE, MURDEROUS AND RACIST REGIME EVER UNDER MARA.
You have quite rightly said that MARA THE ACE RACIST, will do all he can to ignite the racist sentiments of the Sinhalese to secure power for him and his murderous family, just to protect him and his family from all the murder and corruption charges. The more the investigations come to it’s conclusion, the more the ignition of racial hatred. That is the only way out for him and his family.
The sad part is, there are a 4.2 Million idiots who still will fall prey to his ploy.
The Messenger / January 10, 2016
Very unfortunately President Sirisena’s popularity is fast declining in the whole country. If he can survive as President for the next 5 years it will be a miracle. Even the Tamils and Muslims who voted for him in large scale are now fed up. People expected a lot from President Sirisena but ultimately he seems to be as bad as Rajapakshe. Many people who voted for him in 2015 are regretting now. Other than the 19th amendment, everything else is just an eyewash to fool the people. One complete year wasted. Racism is once again raising its head in the form of Sinha-Le, white vans replaced by Defender Jeep, currency very badly devalued, economy in bad shape, people do not seem to be happy, President Sirisena should do better than this to survive the next 5 years.
Bensen Berner / January 10, 2016
A balanced analysis with many useful lessons for the Sirisena- Wickremasinghe crowd to take note of before it is too late. Bensen
Ken Dharmapala / January 10, 2016
Sirisena-Wickramasinghe government was doomed from the start.
(1) It does not have the support of a majority of the Sinhala-Buddhists.
(2) For ten long years, the Rajapakse regime filled all the key positions in the public service with loyalists. They are still there and they are undermining the present government.
(3) Rajapakse stuffed up the economy and it is difficult for the present government to fix it without adding further burdens on the masses.
(4) The privileged (read doctors and others) would not let go of any of their privileges to help the economy.
(5) More than half the MPs are fence sitters, waiting to see which way the wind is blowing.
(6) The media, at operational level, is still in the Rajapakse camp; they make little effort to educate the masses.
(7) The present government will never be able to successfully prosecute the rogues of the previous regime because the thievery was executed with advice from top criminals in the Central Bank and the Finance Ministry. Thus, all the claims of corruption which prompted many to vote against Rajapakse, are now of the view that there was no corruption to start with.
If I were a betting man, I wouldn’t put my money on Sirisena-Wickramasinghe government lasting till the end of next year.
Analyst / January 10, 2016
TG’s account of the present and the past governments a very good read and with excellent analysis for the present and the future of Srilanka.
Those who strived for Democrasy and good governance will certainly welcome all the needful expected by the Present government.
The more the GG covers up the bad deeds done by the last Regime there is always a danger of the re emergence of the despotic , bankrupt ,corrupt and murderous Regime .
The voters and the present government leaders stood up to the murderous Regime and won on the day last January.
Pussyfooting and covering up the crimes committed by the past government including the highest leaders of the gang is a disgrace on the part of the present govt. We are in to face more dangers than before with the “Fanning of Racism”
The answer for it ” NIP IT IN THE BUD AS WAS DONE TO BBS AND SO ON”
Srilanka is still swimming in dangerous waters , with all the crooks and culprits allowed to swim /walk free and spread hate speeches. They have been enjoying the GG ‘s Freedom of speech which was taken away during their time. Now the ” “pots calls the kettle black”
Shame on them
The new government inherited an economy caught in a debt trap instead of acknowledging this reality the new regime adopting a policy of denial. Why this is not informed to the public Especially to the .”Village Modayas ” who are continued to be fed with racism?? The village men and women should be informed of the state of our economy when the new govt took over.
The village thugs were allowed to believe that the past government was all milk and honey with rose petals added in it , but the minorities who are fellow Srilankans too , are the problems!! The false racially motivated propaganda should be Banned.
How ignorant are they?? No intelligence and they go and get tattooed with their racial slogan. That slogan tattooed on the body is for life .
The present govt should go on the right path to convince these unintelligent voters that the future for Srilanka is Democracy , and spend within limits. Thieving state funds should be a crime and the culprits need to be punished.
Frank / January 10, 2016
Sirisena is a one term President. His actions have turned away the Muslims and Tamils in disgust. Alternative? Who cares? Sri Lanka is doomed.
BattiKirillie / January 10, 2016
NO this is wrong – had NOT the current president relinquished his powers to that extent, it would not be easy RW to get the new amendments passed -for the benefit of all …
Constitution making will dawn a new era.. is the hope of all of us. That will be centainity. Meeharaka Rajapakshe was so greedy and abused his power no matter world bodies warned him . Today, the same cesspits speak against the current revoluation, not being able to digest. That is what we experience today.
punchinilame / January 12, 2016
I will place all my money on the idea that MS WILL go in for a 2nd Term –
as his henchmen will push him and the UNP will not mind as long as RW
is the quasi-executive of the Government. MS is not much concerned of
the pressing problems as he wants to take those up with time to suit his
future moves. He will have the Rajapakses under control after allowing them more rope – to hang themselves?
ramona therese fernando / January 11, 2016
Well Tisaranee,……the choices were/are between the capitalistic family syndicate ruling and creating money out of thin air (if China managed to retain the capitalistic high), or a democratic spread out of the money and a stimulation of creative process of the Lankan polity, out of their very own patriotic hearts.
So!, with Rajapaksas, it was a conglomeration of king-pins that might/mightn’t have taken Sri Lanka far in the long run (e.g. the devil’s advocate playing with spirits from the Vatican to Kapilavastu , and setting up in shop in places like NYC, with money that was meant for the Masses…….NYC! ….with the notion that the use of the silver tongue could entrap US capitalist money , so that money trickle down to the Lankan masses). (Well…..at least the direct Rajapaksa family did build roads et al)
Or the spreading out of democracy and socialized capitalism, from the very heart and bosom of the Lankan polity (short of India building a land bridge, and Champika cutting out the Northern minority on his take on the super-megalopolis).
But we hope the Sinha-le are patriotic enough to see it all work through. Otherwise Sri Lanka would have to rely on e.g. the Devil’s Advocate to continue doing his own deals, away from honorable Lankan democratic due process.
Jim softy / January 11, 2016
Pro-LTTE, anti Mahinda Rajapakse TG is at it again.
TG’s pan profile says it all.
Upul / January 11, 2016
Whenever Ms. Gunasekera writes an article we have an entire slate of ‘foot in the mouth’ specialists coming out of the woodwork. I read her articles for what is in them, not about who they mention, because that is of no consequence to my life. It is to inform myself that I read it, not to get myself into a frenzy about Ms. Gunasekera’s motivations for writing it.
Let the sinless cast the first stone, said a prophet. That was then. I doubt ANY Sri Lankan meets that ideal today! Just saying…
ramona therese fernando / January 11, 2016
It’s amazing the way the self-important will justify their high-level crimes by attempting to tar a larger number with their same brush.
There are masses of sinless who have to suffer the consequences of those who actually validate what they take out of the country with their notion it is for the greater good. The whole nation has been left an outstanding debt that the masses have to pay back through dire taxation – money emerging from thin air, inevitably come to a stalemate.
Aren’t these self-righteous miscreants ashamed of their contribution to the downfall of our sacred land? Sri Lanka has to be brave enough to get down to the task of bringing these people to justice. It won’t be easy, as the silver tongue would manage to wheedle itself into the new government setting. Lankans mustn’t shirk away from their duty; nonentities like me, are willing to lay our heads on the block.
(Rajapaksa actually did build up the country, if somewhat illusively. Others surrounding them, contributed to his downfall).
InconvenientTruth / January 12, 2016
“Given what was, these are changes to be happy about”
Here we go again, TG’s pathetic attempts at putting lipstick on the pig.
If TG has an iota of brain or an ounce of analytical ability which I gravely doubt, s/he will know that there are many mythologies in the east and the west, which arose from tiny pieces of facts. Trying to negate the existence of Sinhala people by critiquing the story of Sinhaba is like trying to negate the celebration of Christmas by critiquing the existence of Santa Clause. Sinhala people are a distinct linguistic, cultural and religious entity with a highly heterogeneous biological ancestry…people became Sinhala by deed and creed but not by common biological ancestry, and that is what makes Sinhala people a remarkable entity.
Home work for you TG so that you get some blood flow to the head: why do you think there are no Sinhala Hindus or Sinhala Islamists?
Ponkoh Sivakumaran / January 12, 2016
If the Sinhalese want to believe that they are the spawn of buggery by a lion, good luck to them. If they want to have a flag with a lion holding an erection in its hand and its tail up exposing its backside, good luck to them. They must let the Tamils and the Muslims go so that they could pursue their independent futures without being mired by the visions of such mental retards.
maalumiris / January 13, 2016
Very mature response.
“Let the Tamils and Muslims Go”
So where you want to go ? Germany ? Norway ? UK ? Australia or Canada ?
No Problem ! Go with blessings !