14 October, 2019

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Smother Emergent Proto-Fascism!

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

The Nugegoda meeting of 18 February, organised by Reincarnate Mahinda Zombies (RMZ) Wimal, Vasu, Gammanpila and Dinesh, which attracted about 10,000 people, may be Colombo’s baptismal Nuremburg Rally. It could lead to the birth of proto-fascism if Rajapaksa’s prime ministerial bid falters. The bid could stall if he is charged with bribery or attempting a coup, if wiser counsel prevails in the SLFP and his aspirations are blocked, or if his “faction” is defeated at the elections. Then, or earlier, fascist style street mobilisation could be attempted. MR’s charge that the new government intends to “undo all that he had achieved” – that is alleging a plot to divide the country – signals the revanchist scaremongering underlying the campaign. Justice Wigneswaran and the NPC, to the delight of the RMZ, have done their bit to pour buckets of fuel on the fire; but more on that later.

Sirisena and Ranil (S&R) do not seem to have what in politics is called the killer-instinct to meet fire with fire and mobilise on the streets. The killer-instinct is what the Rajapaksas and their cabal were amply endowed with. S&R have not apprehended perpetrators of gigantic scams, drug barons, coup makers, and only after much delay a woman accused of passport fraud. Clearly anti-fascists cannot look to weaklings or to the UNP to pilot resolute mass action, but it is crucial to deny racist proto-fascists control of the streets. Nor should arrest of UPFA scum-bags be delayed. In fairness I grant there has been some movement by law enforcement after February 18; there must be follow-up. I also hope that recent changes in the army signal that democracy respecting brass has been promoted or reinstated.

Do S&R reckon that pandering to defeated UPFA Ministers and Deputy Ministers (M&DM) can win votes towards the two-thirds needed for 19A? All booted-out M&DMs have been provided with two cars, two drivers, petrol allowance and ministerial housing. In which pluperfect madhouse are 70 members of a defeated government maintained in luxury by the public purse? Ravi Karunanayake, Ranil and the UNP should defray this from party or personal funds; otherwise it is another case of misuse of public money. I wonder if S&R realise that if pro-Rajapaksa mobs gain ground the pressure on SLFP MPs to undercut 19A and inflict a humiliating defeat on the two of them will be irresistible.

Mahinda NugegodaTough action against mega-rogues and simultaneous political counteraction can nip proto-fascism in the bud. If there is doubt about 19A securing 2/3, it is best to dissolve forthwith and declare that the next parliamentary election will be regarded as a de facto referendum by President and Prime Minister, and a new constitution will be promulgated afterwards. To be this assertive needs a ruthless political instinct. (“All armed prophets have conquered and all unarmed ones been vanquished” – Niccolo Machiavelli). Old Nic would have had no patience with compassionate amateurs and gentlemen of good class quoting due diligence while Rome was blazing.

If a harsh, even damning UNHRC Report had surfaced before the elections, the UNP would have been in a pickle. Every Sinhalese worth his racial sodium-chloride is sworn to extol the “heroic armed forces”; every Tamil who took up arms, even if he witnessed his mother’s rape, is a terrorist. That’s the rhetoric; you may deviate from this script at your electoral peril. Ranil would have been compelled, by the usual imperative of stupefying the voting public, to reject all adverse findings. Imagine if the report held the hallowed trinity MR-GR-SF guilty of war crimes or human rights infringements? Imagine if it said the military wantonly bombed and shelled civilians? The report, if it touched on white-flag episodes, would not have whitewashed coldblooded murder. All this is dynamite in Mother Lanka; election loosing dynamite for the UNP.

If the UNP spurned the UNHRC out of electoral necessity it would have kissed good relations with the West and India goodbye and folded plans to move the economy away from the cupidity of exclusive dependence on China. Heads the UNP would have lost the next election; tails it would have lost the election it won on 8 January! Delaying the UNHRC Report till after the elections was a necessity. I am pleased with the delay; anything that strengthens the Rajapaksas is ghastly. Secondly if the report is issued later, and if the SLFP is kept out of power, some follow-up may be possible.

Mangala rides West

Was it possible that Foreign Minister Mangala was sent overseas to play good-cop in a good-cop bad-cop dramatisation of the national question? The evidence does not support this; the guy pitched much farther than needed to win Kerry and State Department, Ban Ki Moon and Zaid al-Hissein for a deferral. The West is committed to regime change as I have repeatedly insisted from early 2014; with an anti-Rajapaksa India on board it is not going to scuttle this government in its infancy. Mangals’s presentations at Carnegie Foundation and New York Press Club were excellent and can be taken at face value. Ranil and Mangala have made a commitment to implement 13A-slightly-minus (most land to be returned, military harassment of the public to terminate and a decent police force albeit under the Centre).

This is not great devolution, and a far cry from the right to self-determination, but it is miles ahead of Rajapaksa tyranny, and realistic, given power balances. Circumstances may dictate after the election that the TNA accepts positions in a liberal-bourgeois UNP government provided Tamil rights are secured. Let the dogs in the diaspora bark, but the caravan must move on. This would be wonderful as it leaves the opposition space empty for a strong and principled left, including the JVP and those coalescing around the Reconstituted LSSP’s strategy, I hope, of a unified, unitary left party – the Syriza model. The left as a whole must strive for a unitary structure as a medium term perspective; its immediate function is oppositional as in 1948-1970 and undertaking political education of the middle and working classes.

Father-in-Law Acute Race Trauma (FLART)

When relatives develop similar chronic ailments one attributes it to a shared genetic defect; but there is no way a fruitcake gene can stretch between fathers-in-law. Vasu, instead of timely (dis)graceful retirement has chosen to climb aboard the dishonourable, chauvinist, Wimal-Gamanpila-Dinesh bigot-wagon, the RMZ. But Wigeneswaran’s (CV) malady is more complex. Previously, he rightly insisted that Tamils had been deprived of civic and human rights, and possibly suffered war crimes, but that there was scant evidence of genocide. Then he succumbed to FLART (don’t omit the L) and sponsored a Northern Provincial Council (NPC) resolution asserting that what had not happened had happened.

CV’s political career is not at an end; he is strong and can afford to talk sense without kowtowing to emotional hot-heads; but he flipped at a time when ethnic relations were on the mend and it would have been wise to show restraint. Was he concerned that in the euphoria of election victory Tamil concerns were being marginalised or is he exhausted struggling against loony Tamil extremists (the Tamil people are not itching for a showdown with Sirisena-Ranil)? Whatever the reason it was unwise and also erroneous. The TNA, unsurprisingly, has not disassociated itself due to electoral calculations. Ranil’s cousin and deputy defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene went to Mullaituva army camp and gave an undertaking never to take the military jackboot off Tamil necks.

Some Tamil groups claim that large tracts of civilian land have not been returned but a Defence Ministry statement says 27,000 of the 35,000 acres sequestered in the N&E during the war has been given back to civilian owners and that 50 battalions have been withdraw from the North. Still there is bitterness about land sized by the military from Jaffna people. Bulldozing of homes and temples continued apace in the KKS area all of last year, hence Tamil frustration. The new government must not let the military dominate the public as the previous one did. An out of control military is a power unto itself and a menace to society. Rumour among Tamils has it that Ranil even proposed making Karuna a deputy minister; so there is much distrust on all sides.

These annoyances notwithstanding, the assertion of genocide is flawed because though Tamils have been subjected to oppression and repression, genocide in the proper sense is moot. Killing hundreds in 1958 and thousands in 1983 was foul, but race-mobs that evaporate afterwards don’t equate to intentional institutionalised genocide. Arguably, there was premeditated butchery in the last months of the war and if the NPC confined its assertion to this it would have been on firmer ground; but alleging decades of genocide is patently false. I have no wish to say good things (or bad things) about the Sinhalese (or the Tamils) as I disdain all nationalisms. (At least a few readers I trust will empathise with this worldview). Let’s have unemotional, level-headed views on whether Ceylon/Sri Lanka has had a history of genocide.

Two recognised definitions of genocide are:-

United Nations General Assembly (1946): “Genocide is a denial of the right to existence of entire human groups”. This is the shortest, clearest and gets the main point across unambiguously.

The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide: “Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroyin whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures to prevent births within the group; forcibly transferring children to another group.

Crucial is the intention of a state or quasi-state player, not a bunch of hoodlums, and secondly the scale and duration of the slaughter. I am not persuaded that the case of the Tamils, with the possible exception of the last phase of the war, fits either of these. Nazi extermination of Jews and the one million Hutu’s slaughtered in Rwanda fit. Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the fire-bombing of Dresden and Berlin were certainly war crimes in the modern sense of the term, but absent the intention of wiping out the Japanese or German people, neither would be genocide in the formal sense.

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Latest comments

  • 4
    13

    This guy is getting really, REALLY worked up about a meeting with only 10,000 people…:))

    • 1
      1

      I would like to reproduce what I said in a comment on Izeth Hussein’s article on the Nugegoda rally

      “I wish to comment on another aspect of the Nugegoda rally. Far from hyperbolic statements the total crowd was less than 10,000. The Daily Mirror of Feb 25 carried a panoramic view of one section of the crowd on page A12. I divided it into one inch squares and patiently counted square by square. The total came out at 1705. The Island of the same day carried an aerial panoramic view that showed the direction of the Daily Mirror panoramic view encompassed a quarter of the total. So that gives 4×1705 = 6820. An educated “scientific” estimate is about 8000.

      Overestimation of crowd numbers by enthusiasts is common. The devotees who filled a goodly part of Galle Face Green for Francis-I’s Papal mass just exceeded 100,000; not 150,000 as some newspapers reported”.

    • 3
      2

      Dayan,

      you sound just like your master, Mahinda when he said that people are getting worked up about small things after Mosques were getting attacked by Sinhala Buddhist mobs on instigation by Gnanasara terroro.

      In Nazi Germany things escalated just like what has been happening in Sri Lanka.

      Ganasara goes roaming a free man despite well recorded speeches of instigation by him to attack mosques, and even the present government does not want to charge those responible for Aluthgama.

      Nugegoda may be the beginnning of more events like Mullivaaikkaal, Aluthgama to come.

    • 4
      2

      so what is the big deal?
      Dayan.. your mate, Pannikiyage Wimalasena was to claim that half a million did git into that tiny spot.. Oh my.. this man as a 9th grader what else you can expect?

      Its not the matter of how many heads were there, they all were just losers to support a losing dictator and a killer machine.

      Just wait few weeks., this toxic Medamulana idiot will be arrested for the coup on the 9th and then for the extra judicial killings.

      He will have to spend rest of his life in thg Govt boarding house on the Baseline Road.

    • 2
      0

      Prof. Kumar David.

      “The Nugegoda meeting of 18 February, organised by Reincarnate Mahinda Zombies (RMZ) Wimal, Vasu, Gammanpila and Dinesh, which attracted about 10,000 people, may be Colombo’s baptismal Nuremburg Rally. It could lead to the birth of proto-fascism if Rajapaksa’s prime ministerial bid falters.”

      1. Yes, the crowd at the high end would have been 12,000 to 15,000 at most. About 199 busses were used to haul people, presumably Mahinda and Wimal et al. supporters. If so, they cannot expect more than 10,000 people even after bussing, and they will have to pay for it, no more freebies from SLTB.

      2. The enthusiasm of the crowd was not there. Only their physical bodies, because they were under duress to attend, and those people who attended were misled, saying that Mahinda Rajapaksa would be there, and they lost an opportunity to hoot at Mahinda Rajapaksa. They also tried to use BBS , Sinhala Ravya and Communalism to attract people. This generation of the Citizens are much wiser to be fooled by this set of opportunists.

      3. The people did get an opportunity to attend a rally at Galle where Mahinda Rajapaksa was there, and they hooted at Mahinda Rajapaksa.

      4. The Sri Lankan Socialists, Wimal, Vasu, Gammanpila and Dinesh, are a disgrace to Socialism. The People know that within the party. The People are not Fools, Mootals, முட்டாள், or Modayas, even though there are many they depend on to support them, but that fraction is declining.

      If you want the Fools, Mootals, முட்டாள், or Modayas fraction to decline, may I suggest to you and your fellow “Sri Lankan Writers” to write in Sinhala, Tamil, and English, the Following and distribute widely.

      Common Sense Phamplet, Sri Lanka, 2015

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_%28pamphlet%29

      The Sri Lankan Crisis, Pamphlets, 2015

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_American_Crisis

      Prof., as the Nike ad says: “Just Do It!”

    • 2
      0

      Dayan,

      KD has omitted the fact you guys rented both the crowds and the buses!

      So, “only 10,000” is a factual statement. Should have been at least 50,000 (given the stolen money available with your supporters to finance that enterprise).

      Renting crowds wherever MR goes is another phenomenon we are witnessing.

      Dayan, when will you and your cohorts accept that MR is now history?

      The people are not fooled with these farcical side-shows!

  • 8
    3

    Kumar David often pontificates on things he knows not. Humility is not his virtue. So, when he talks about genocide, he talks from ignorance. Even the killing of a few persons motivated entirely by religious or racial hatred qualifies as genocide. It is wrong to be apologetic and characterise events in 1958 and later as killings by mobs. The protracted events of 1958 was at the least accompanied by a failure to act on the part of the government. Complicity involves omission as well. In the later killings, lists of Tamils in areas were provided by government ministers. They were not mobs but agents of persons participating in government. David rights calls the killings at the end of the war in 2009 as instances of genocide.

    Whether Wigs acted rightly or not is not the issue. If genocide was committed, it must be punished. Only a legal tribunal can pronounce on this, not the ageing and pompous know-all, Kumar David. No killing of Tamils have yet been subjected to trial or punishment though there are pictures of Tamils waiting to be killed with identifiable Sinhalese dancing around them. The collective punishment for a crime like genocide will wipe off the guilt of the Sinhalese and ensure that there is a deterrence to future behaviour of the sort.

    This is not to condone the LTTE killings of Sinhalese. They are condemnable. Karuna and KP are still there to be punished.

  • 8
    2

    Leave alone the question of genocide. Since the new government assuming power, not a square inch of land grabbed by the military been released back to the rightful owners of the land. Even a list of the hundreds if not thousands of Tamil prisoners been released, let alone releasing them. The militarisation of the North is continuing in full force. Tamils voted in very large numbers to bring this new regime to power. What have they got in return over the last 50 days of ‘good governance’? What matters is not how many battalions have been removed but how many are still remaining there in this least populous province where there is absolutely no sign of any insurgency since 2009?

    Sengodan. M

    • 2
      2

      Quite right. The Muslims (ethnically cleansed from the north by the ‘lovable’ barbarian) languishing in their hovels in the Puttalam area are still waiting to return to their homes and lands. The ICG (International Crisis Group) is worried about 90,000 Tamils that they claim are still internally displaced, but the 200,000 Muslims do not even get a mention. Neither do they get recognition from the LTTE proxy, the TNA.

  • 2
    1

    Huge difference between Nuremburg Rally and Nugegoda Rally.

    Nuremberg Rally was for Germans to remain exclusive of Jews and other “inferior” minorities. Jews were checked for lack of blue eyes and blond hair, before being thrown into bubbling gas-chambers.

    Nugegoda Rally, on the other hand, was to include all minorities into the Sinhala fold (and if possible the Buddhist fold…..that being a flexible option).

    • 0
      1

      You must be one of the very rare witnesses of the ‘bubbling gas chambers’.

  • 1
    2

    I am sorry professor. Power systems is your forte but not politics and law. Tamil genocide may not have the numbers as that of Nazi Germany or Ruwandan Genocide. But it did have in Tamil Massacres since 1956, spent of men’s rea. Not by just hoodlums but by state under the control of prime minister like SWRD and president like JR. It is difficult to say whether it was their conviction or a motive for capturing power. In 2009 it was definitely both conviction and motive for consolidating power and amassing wealth.

    I understand that you can not accept it as you were saying in those years that class contradiction is more acute than racial discrimination in Sri Lanka. while as Power System Engineering student admired your intelligence and art of teaching disagreed with your perception of class and racial struggle in Sri Lanka

  • 1
    1

    The main thrust of KD’s point is from his perception that because TAMILS though a minority, still remain and populate the island in large numbers with he rest of the population in the island, the NPC resolution that CVW it’s CM brought was unwarranted, redundant and therefore superfluous because it did not compare with the atrocities in Rwanda or Germany under Hitler but with the cop arson of Nagasaki and Dresden bombing which still left Japan and Germany populated and that same can be true of SL true.
    But what he fails here to address is Nagasaki and Dresdren was and is not still occupied by the U.S. or the British.But the N&E of the island is still occupied the Lanka army and the people who reside there have been deprieved of their land and lively hood which is itself a form of genocide that causes them to risk the seas in search of safety.
    The NPC resolution should been viewed in that context especially now that the people there have given a mandate to the TNA and voted to rid the MR regime.

    • 2
      0

      Wigneswaran has himself told us what the Genocide Resolution was all about – a response to the Defense ministers assertion that the troops in the north will NOT be removed.

  • 1
    0

    Whether it was a genocide or it was not what should not be denied to the Tamils is the opportunity to transparently investigate the matter. That is a basic right. It is also important for the unit of the island that a full accounting of the history of pogroms against Tamils is taught to all Sri Lankans – only then can the country have a common understanding of its history upon which to build on. The denial of truth and accountability is deeply damaging to the integrity of and possibly the existence of the Sri Lankan state.

  • 1
    0

    KD has little understanding of what prompted the CM to come out with
    this Resolution, taking a hit from Madame Biswals talk with him?

    This 146 page book has relevant facts:-

    http://tgte-us.org/pressrelease/HRC_Booklet-Final.pdf

  • 1
    1

    Ahhh! someone from the Tamil community accepting that there is no systematic genocide against tamils in Sri Lanka.

    That’s a good start. Now let’s sort out the actual problems tamils face!!!

  • 2
    0

    Dr.Dayan.

    There were more than 10,000 people at Kanatte when your trousers were removed in April 1993 at the Funeral of Lalith.Was your Wife worked up?

  • 0
    0

    All forget how super easy it is to organize a meeting when MR hora money flows.

  • 0
    0

    Maitriya may work in private life but if you want to govern a country you have to forget about the concept and be practical. When the iron was hot we should have stuck and given the guy the Libyan treatment. The Libyan are not stupid like us and know how to treat a misruler.

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