24 September, 2020

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Shindig At The Shangri-La

By Sarath de Alwis

Sarath De Alwis

“I saw the Emperor -this soul of the world- go out from the city to survey his reign; it is a truly a wonderful sensation to see such an individual, who, concentrating on one point while seated on a horse, stretches over the world and dominates it.

“Such was the reaction of the great Philosopher Hegel when he contemplated Napoleon Buonaparte astride his white Stallion at Jena. That was the end of philosophy wrote a 20th century philosopher Alexandre Kojève who wrote a critique on the work of the master. 

I saw Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the lectern at the Shangri-La. I pray that it is not the end of our democracy. Men of action are a menace to the human kind. 

This is about the Shindig at the Shangri la. This is about that great event, where Gotabaya Rajapakse announced that he is not a politician. That he is the outstanding alternative to the miserable alternatives we are presently saddled with. 

 “By the year 2030, China’s economy would expand and become twice the size of the economy of the US relegating it to second place. India’s economy will become the third largest followed by Japan and Indonesia. We Sri Lankans, cannot seize the opportunity to develop the country if we are not ready by the year 2030.”  

That is wonderfully illuminating if only he told us how he proposes to make us ready for 2030. Is it by electing him President in 2020? 

He did not say it explicitly. But he has gone to great lengths to imply it. This missive is pended on that rather, solid premise.  

He told his Shangri-La audience, that Sri Lanka should seize the window of opportunity presented by the shift of global economic center of gravity. 

If that was the burden of his thesis he should agree to open the damned window and not insist on keeping it shut as he did when he was the powerful puppeteer behind his brother’s throne. 

In his time at the helm, the internet was not freely accessible. His gate keepers were busy devising ways of encryption and decryption. Now he speaks of the virtues of a knowledge-based economy. 

If he has gone to a reform school in the interim, he certainly did not mention it in his peroration.  

In measured resonance, punctuated by apparently sincere conviction (so we presume) Gotabaya Rajapaksa explained his ‘weltanschauung’ – his wide world perception. 

‘We will open our economy for foreign investors whilst protecting our sovereignty and preserving our cultural values. Economic policies, past and present will be reviewed and improved. Policies that harm the economy will be repudiated.”  

Therein lies the abyss that we are staring at with a Gotabaya presidency. He is modern and antimodern. He preaches cosmopolitan economics and practices xenophobic politics. 

He is really and convincingly dangerous. His bigotry is genuine. He is a vegetarian with the appetite of a carnivore.

“Love your country. Play your part in shaping its future. The future is in our hands.” 

Nobel sentiments indeed. Now we come against an insurmountable barrier. What is our country? Is it a multiethnic plural democracy wherein different groups compete for power and access resources? Or is it a majoritarian monument resting  on the myth of a cosmic habitat of a chosen tribe?        

Autocratic leaders do not come through the back door. In most instances they are elected. Dictators enter from the main gate and very often they are carried on the shoulders of adoring citizens. They are given the reins of the state by people maddened by the inefficiency and sickened by the indifference of their elected governments.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa is well on his way to the executive presidency in 2020.  His ‘Viyath-maga’ Erudite-Path conclave at the Shangri la was a dazzling demonstration of his mastery in managing terror- his specialty and expertise. 

The Shangri-La shindig attracted everybody who was somebody in commerce, industry and finance. Why did they come and sit through the proceedings with such contrived patience and simulated attention?

They came not to declare their allegiance to the would-be president. They were there because caution and foresight that got them to the top of their businesses, told them that a declaration of obedience was the commonsense option. 

By enticing the linchpins of commerce, industry and finance to his presidential circus he has delivered a body blow to the UNP establishment that has always retained a prescriptive title to the subconscious of the opulent and the affluent.  

They did not go there to learn how Zuckerberg made his billions or how the center of gravity of the global economy was shifting to a point between China and India in the coming decade. In this age of internet of things, such pseudo profundities would not have excited anyone but the most moronic and the least connected.  

A Harvard historian Timothy Snyder has explained the 21st century resurgence of tyrannical regimes under the guise of nationalism and economic revival.  The process begins when we allow demagogues to seize the monopoly of defining development. The demagogue excels in challenging verifiable reality. 

The demagogue insists on the illusion of a parliamentary opposition. More than that, the demagogue relies on moderate language and extreme institutions.  

South Korea, Indonesia and China are the countries that are focused on. India is included more or less as an afterthought. Japan is included but not stressed.  

Dis these countries achieve economic growth under democratic regimes? Unfortunately, no. Economic growth does not go hand in hand with democracy. The East Asian examples tell us that that it was economic growth that led those repressive development models to accommodate democratic demands and values. The processes were too painful. 

A point that is missed in the punditry dished out by his marketing acolyte and his Mossad funded advisor from Singapore. Democracy in the East Asian tiger economies were the compelled policy choices of their respective dictators.   

Gotabaya Rajapaksa has forgotten how he arrived at this firmament. He arrived at this point because universal adult franchise made it possible for his great uncle D.M indeed a great man to represent the peasantry immortalized by Leonard Wolf in the state council. 

The people of this land demand economic prosperity. But they are not ready to barter away their independent minds for a deceptive utopia.      

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Latest comments

  • 20
    5

    How come not a single allegation levelled at Gotabaya seems to be not investigated yet ?
    Why is then we still call lanken JUSTICE system is independent ?
    What would lanken COURTS tell the rest of citizen in the country and the world ?

    Why on the earth, nothing seems to be moving to catch Ballige puthas that looted and destroyed the country as nothing could help ?

    • 12
      1

      Hinni: US citizen Gotabaya Rajapaksa is protected by his country – the declining superpower which drafts Ranil Wickramasinghe’s policies. His bank accounts are in LA – no harm will come to him. Ranil has been given instructions from Washington DC – all in the name of FAKE RECONCILIATION in an ear of Fake news and post facts.

      Gotabaya is protected by the US embassy in Lanka whose game in Lanka and elsewhere is “heads I win, tails you loses” .
      Ranil is their man, of course, but if he loses US citizen Gota who privatized the SL Navy’s most lucrative marine security in the Indian Ocean operation to Avant Guard which is a global security and surveillance company – a national security scam – on the behest of his US handlers tell us a story about the Fake Reconciliation Industry that is really a bi-partisan UNP-SLFP corruption racket operated by Fake foreign reconciliation advisers .

      • 5
        3

        If anything would have been slowed, it is RANIL TO YOU GUYS: why is that. Exexcutive president stays unturn no matter anythign would ahve been the case.
        I think we were fooled by Mr Sirisena. Now I am totally against his honesty. He stood on his way not appointing Mr Fonseka as the minister for Law and order. Instead he was appointed as a minister for forest and conservation. He would do his best for sure but time worthy was to appoint him as the minister of law and order. This country people shold be brought to a line so that they each everyone shoudl tame to the law.

        Ballige puthas led by Rajapakshe groups ruin this nation as nothing can help anymore. Their set men in Media DO THE job their populartiy. So with the time, Good governance govt seen as stagnated. All is due to sloth like style of Mr Sirisena. Even Eduwan from Turkey being elected by own folks did lot more.
        That was the case with Philiphine Duterte too: All in all, our men without PENIS to be have been elected as the president seem to have ruined everything. Time is flying but nothing moves to get the high criminals . We want to see Rajapakshe and their men in Prisons BASTA.

      • 0
        0

        Don you sound like Trump, if you don’t want hear the truth call them fake news may be you are one of the Fake patriotic Sri Lankan

      • 3
        0

        Don Stanley:
        What you say has the ring of truth.

    • 8
      6

      Those who feel that Lanken Mahathir would be GOTABAYA THE daya light murderer may be fooled by Rajapakshe mantra.
      They should better check their mind sets before going to do so.
      Lankens in general are not used to see it right by ownself. That is one of the problems they are entwined with. No matter facts and figures would lie on the right side, they just get deceieved by for plate of rice or a condom has been the style of lanken grass eating majority folks.
      Gods of the world over to you,, please dont let this bugger to guide our nation and ruin it as no other countries. Please speed up the process of getting his and his men by every means – in the days to come. That would be the only way out to teach people a lession. Then will have to see it, that the bugger et al was the main culprit in that RAJAPAKSHE bunch of thugs.

    • 5
      0

      Srilanka is now not an independent country dependent on China and USA. Gotapaya is protected by USA and Rajapakse is protected by China & India. China, India & USA are the only countries knew well what happened in this island between 2006 and 2009. We should ask the question why Gotapaya did not give up his US citizenship until now? The regime change happened only to protect Mahinda and Gotapaya. That purpose is now over and probably Mahnida family is ready to come back to power with the US backing. Ranil just follows instructions from USA.

    • 3
      0

      Each and everyone of you who attended the fascist Dayan Jayatillekas “Viyathmaga” a movement comprising of pseudo intellectuals should be ashamed of yourselves!

      This movement has selfish exploitative motivates and not the interest on the country at heart.

      This platform is another Rajapaksas Criminal network front to work towards bringing the criminals back to power…

      #CID #INTERPOL

  • 2
    0

    Malaysian police seized 52 branded bags, 10 luxury watches and cash in multiple currencies including RM537,000 (US$135,000) in a raid of former prime minister Najib Razak’s private residence that began on late Wednesday (May 16), according to a police document sighted and verified by Channel NewsAsia.

    Police believe there were “reasonable grounds to suspect that all such items are a matter of offence under the nation’s Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001”.

    source channel news asia

  • 2
    0

    The bags seized include some made by Versace, Gucci and Oscar de la Renta with 15 Chanel boxes taken from the prayer area of the house. Watches taken include ones made by Rolex and Patek Philippe while £2,700 and 10,870,0000 Sri Lanka Rupee were also confiscated.

    The police search of Najib’s home went on for about 18 hours and amounted to “harassment”, said his lawyer in a statement on Thursday.

    In total, authorities have raided six premises as part of their investigations into Najib and state-investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), including the prime minister’s office and the prime minister’s official residence in Putrajaya as well as four private residences linked to the former leader.

    On Friday morning, police seized another 284 boxes containing designer handbags as well as dozens of bags stuffed with cash and jewellery from luxury condominium units linked to Najib.

    Advertisement

    Mahathir had said there was sufficient evidence to investigate the multi-billion-dollar scandal at 1MDB, and vowed to take action against those who may have abetted or benefited from corruption at the fund.

    At least six countries, including the United States and Switzerland, are investigating claims that US$4.5 billion was allegedly siphoned off from 1MDB.

    source channel news asia

  • 5
    2

    MR was” The knight in shining armor who is to liberate the country and people”, Now you have “Satan giving the sermon” (satanic verses) How he is about to liberate the country and the people from economic shackles.By the way BR is (as always) on the way to the bank with his hallmark smile to make a deposit. And the citizenry as always blissfully ignorant cheering and enjoying the show.A well known businessman once told me that he was in a conference (during the golden era of MR) attended by GR and at the conclusion when the guests were in a informal get together GR asked his side kick who this businessman was and when he was identified GR replied with a chuckle ” he was in my list”. white van??ransom??? or the worse.

  • 6
    2

    Whither Sri Lanka? This “Viyath Maga” – an organization of “Professionals” could not find a “Leader” from among themselves to lead the way for a better future Sri Lanka. To what low levels these “Professionals” formed into an organization named “Viyath Maga” has fallen, even shamelessly bending and twisting to decimalize the very meaning of that word “VIYATH” (Intellectual). We know the contents of that lecture were not the “Knowledge” or the “Intellect” of GR; but that of the “Intellectuals” of the “Viyath Maga”. The irony is that, they chose a “Leader” like that of GR to deliver to a packed audience of “Viyaththu”. These “Professionals” know well the megalomaniac style of management of the “MR & CO” that ruled the country prior to 2015 and how they were stripped of power by the people. I do admit the frustrations that these “professionals” suffer at present with the present power camp; but that is no reason to return to the already tested corrupt criminals expecting a better return. That is what we see in this attempt of the “Viyath Maga”. Why these “Professionals” organize in a an HONORABLE way and LEAD the nation and the country to a better future? Why do they have to be “SLAVES” and SURRENDER their FREEDOM once again to that “Megalomaniac Regime” of which GR would be the “EXECUTIONER”?

  • 9
    3

    I thought we were going to crucify him at Galle Face for the grave sins he committed including selling out the precious army headquarters therein and pocketing out a large sum that Shangri La gave (with Mohan Peiris he pocketed out most of the Avant Gurard revenue between them, compared to these robberies the MIG deal was a minor). I now realise we have missed the bus and in 2 years he will be the supreme leader of this land. My God!

    • 0
      0

      Malkanthi, your surname must be “Dahathunwala” because it has missed the obvious ‘wala’ you are sitting on!

  • 8
    0

    DE Alwis, you ask the question: “What is our country? Is it a multiethnic plural democracy wherein different groups compete for power and access resources? Or is it a majoritarian monument resting on the myth of a cosmic habitat of a chosen tribe?”. In trying to answer your question, you need to look in to as to how our country was made a “multiethnic plural” unit where everyone is asking for a piece. Britain, US Canada, Australia are also similar to what you are implying we are. But minorities those in those countries are are ‘kept in place’ in no uncertain way’ in relation to demands on territory of habitat, language and other basic rules. The model English speaking burgher segment and evangelical Christian minority of our country is asking for is a model unique to post-British Sri Lanka where ethnic pockets would be the units of administration. It is natural that the majority have a different view. Learn to live with it, as you would have done in the US, Britain or Canada!

  • 8
    3

    Go Ta Hell! Sri Lanka in 2020!

  • 5
    5

    Sri lanka still has descendants of portugeuse, Dutch and British who di dnot give up the colonial mentality. They are arrogant and feel superior. Mahinda Rajapakse had a very good media policy. He got rid of all the scum. That should happen again. Because there are no self respecting media in Sri lanka. Ranil’s MEdia Freedom doe snot work too.

  • 5
    4

    Sarath De Alwis. YOu write all the chicken little stories. but you do not explain what it is. Thise days, Politicians were screaming that Yankees were coming. It is like that. What is this Singapore and Mozzad connection. Why you dono thave strength to write it. For you itis multi-everything but Sinhala buddhists do not think so.

  • 7
    4

    Sarath de Alwis says “Men of action are a menace to the human kind”. I would say no, not to the human kind, but to those slippery turn coats, to those elitist pseudo intellectual boot lickers, to those scum which call themselves human, to them, the men and women of action are a menace.

    Having said that, Gotabhaya has to come up with specifics, the mere sound bites and rhetoric is not his style, I hope, Gotabhaya is a man of action Best of Luck to him.

    • 2
      3

      wannihami

      “Having said that, Gotabhaya has to come up with specifics, the mere sound bites and rhetoric is not his style, I hope, Gotabhaya is a man of action Best of Luck to him.”

      Do you want caste iron guarantees from the former national hangman that he would not send in his white van fleet looking for you and a list of targeted victims?

    • 0
      0

      Well said wanni to condescending idealist!
      They have no concern for the poor masses in the country!

      • 0
        0

        srinath.gunaratne

        “Well said wanni to condescending idealist!”

        I thought it was bull s**t from wannihami.

        wanni types:
        “Having said that, Gotabhaya has to come up with specifics,”

        Dr Gota does not mince words. He was specific, he would hang all hang them high.

  • 4
    1

    My dear Sarath

    I was expecting a fiery stuff from you to knock Gota (baya gotha) down completely. Seems like you are drifting to Gota side too. This article is very mediocre. Write something powerful to attack Gota like above Malkanthi Doloswala.

    Thanks.

    Shiro

  • 3
    3

    Gota is dreaming to become the next President in 2020. He with his Professional[?] friends has still to work out the Arithmetic for such an ambitious project; Instead he is waxing eloquent on projected world economies.But by 2020 there can be many a slip between the cup and the lip!

  • 3
    3

    GOTABHAYA 2020…………..those who don’t like can commit suicide!

    • 2
      1

      And others can get ready to face a babarian state from where he stopped. :)

      Is not that not True [edited out] Sach ? Let s sharpen his weapons to kill own folks for any revenge and market human flesh for you guys to enjoy – we had been branded as brutal criminals by 2015. We can even become world champions in human rights violations, by electing barbarian man Gotabaya. Either he should be taken away by nature or anything should happen to get hiim away a sa leader. We are fed up of this kalakanni family.

  • 2
    1

    Gotabaya will become the next President. Why? because the Sinhala modayas where there is plenty will vote for him. End of story

  • 2
    0

    Simply I don’t like to waste my time to listen neither his antique nor writing big comments on him but one thing is certain that this criminal should be punished for his crimes and brought to book.

  • 3
    0

    Utterly corrupt Rajapaksa clan pontificating about State corruption. Former white van thugs and mass murderers marketing themselves as ‘intellectuals’ with shelves full of books in the background when they go on TV. And Colombo’s Sinhala-Buddhist elite is swallowing this without question. I heard there was even one token Tamil guy, Mano Sekaram, to prop it up.

  • 1
    0

    The terror in the minds of yahapalana shenanigans is quite palpable. Sarath’s mutterings amply demonstrate that they are on the verge of loosing their minds in fact.

  • 1
    0

    Business Confidence is an all time Low in Colombo.
    Business Leaders say it is particularly bad in the last 12 months.
    Political Uncertainty, lack of political Leadership. and Corruption are the main contributors.
    No wonder the Business Leaders paid up to LKR 25 thou to listen to Gotabaya.
    And De Alwis Sarath reckons these Business Leaders are Wankers…
    How sad.
    Gota is right on the money about China and USA in 2030.
    Uncle Sam already owes 2 Trillion Bux to Chinese.
    Chinese are quite happy to lend them even more to keep the Yuan Down.
    And march to the no 1 position in 2030.
    What has Dr Ranil got from uncle Sam?..

    • 1
      1

      KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

      “Business Confidence is an all time Low in Colombo.”

      When was it high in Colombo?
      The crooked businessmen were confident they could get away with anything as long as they met the right one stop deal making law breaking contact. Please go check every hotel that was built after 2009 and see if the owners met all the planning regulations. There are hotels that encroached into public sea side. When challenged by local building authority the owners went to Colombo and came back and happily owned the business ever after on encroached public land.

      Crooked businessmen are happy, contented and confident even after the change of guards that they are able to do business as usual. Chinese businessmen are happy, contented and confident they could charge more fees on repairs to Lakvijaya Power Station than the original construction costs.

      Tell us what you know about business confidence. I thought its a western idea which does not matter much to most of the poor inhabitants. What has business confidence got to do with “Political Uncertainty, lack of political Leadership. and Corruption” ?

      Name dropping does not absolve Mahinda’s scale of corruption and war crimes.

  • 1
    0

    Well Shangri La is a Hotel Chain of Thailand. Thailand is also a fast developing country in the region.

    Hegel or Napoleon who cares.

    Gota did not mention much about India , Indian Empire or the Indian Parasites here or in the West including USA..

    If we free ourselves from Indian imperialism and colonialism we will proper.

  • 1
    1

    I am a member of the majority Sinhala Buddhists, and if it is going to be a choice between Ranil Wicramasinge and Gotabaya Rajapaksa I am going to vote for Gotabaya Rajapaksa, If MAJORITY of Tamils and MAJORITY of Muslims are going to one party I may reconsider my decision to go with them but if ALL the Tamils and ALL the Muslims are going to vote for one party I am going to actively campaign for the opposite party with all my time and money.
    Soma

  • 0
    0

    Soma.
    You have put yourself on a pedestal! You take yourself seriously,simply because you are a member of the Majority eh?
    Nice logic!

    • 0
      0

      Plato

      “You take yourself seriously,simply because you are a member of the Majority eh?”

      He is a member of noisy Sinhala/Buddhist minority who thinks he is too smart however he is a clever dick like Lal loo, Eagle Blind Eye, wannihami, ……..sach, ….

  • 0
    0

    Sarath is a wise man. But I am afraid his message will be lost on many unless there is a sustained campaign to remind our fellow citizens of what happened under the tyranny of his Gota’s brother. We are easily given to forgetting the past. I hope people take to heart the point that democracy does not always pave way to “economic prosperity.” Tyrannical prosperity or democracy?

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