31 October, 2020

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Society Has Run Down To An Appalling Level Of Deterioration

By Victor Ivan

Victor Ivan

The overall content of the social psyche of the current Sri Lankan society has run down to an appalling level of deterioration. The degree of degeneration is such that it has reached almost the point of putrefaction. This phenomenon is rather obvious and it can no longer be concealed. The religious institutions i.e. the temple, the church and the kovil have failed in rescuing the country from this predicament. Various political movements both capitalistic and socialist and many other diverse political movements too, have equally failed in arresting this trend. In this back drop, both religion and politics have become a part of the problem itself rather than playing a redemptive role in the process. The failure is not restricted to a particular segment, place or thing. It has become a universal scenario pervading almost all spheres and every aspect of social fabric.

Deterioration of Social Psyche

The violent conflicts had become a common feature during the past thirty years. Some of those conflicts remained intra racial in character while some others assumed the character of inter racial conflicts. However, in the final analysis one can safely conclude that factors such as race, caste, religion, language, culture and politics have contributed significantly towards these conflicts in one way or the other. The number of people assassinated in this process by different parties is exceedingly high. But no one knows the exact number for sure. Yet, it can be safely presumed to be more than one hundred thousand. Similarly, we do not know the race, caste and religion which the victims of these assassinations belonged to.
A considerable number of wives lost their husbands owing to these conflicts. Parents lost their children. The number of children who lost either their father or mother is also very high. People had been assassinated singly as well as collectively. Some of them had been assassinated in a manner depriving them of even the last respect that they deserved. There were Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus among the victims. There is a large number of victims who have been maimed for life due to injuries sustained in the process. Their number can be three to four times more than the number that got killed. They still continue to live amidst us as living epitomes of violence. The number of violent incidents that occurred during this period was extremely high. But no proper inventories of these incidents have been taken. Moreover, there was no consistent pattern in the assassinations and the assaults launched. There were instances in which Sinhalese had been assassinated by Sinhalese and Tamils by Tamils. In other instances people of one race resorted to killing those of the other race. Those who escaped death with injuries were compelled to live witnessing the on going violence and atrocities and lamentations of the beloveds of the victims. Thus, when one group was dying physically the other group that survived had been dying spiritually.
The circulation of weapons and the number of people using them increased rapidly. Both the rebels and the armed forces used them to intimidate and subdue their opponents and kill them when they refused to obey their dictates.  Society was compelled to obey the orders of the rebels or the official armed forces unquestioningly for over 30 years. Disappointingly this situation had dried up the fountains of free thought.
In this process, not only the rebels but even the government was obliged to manipulate the infamous criminals to support them. They were formed into an active force and trained  in the use of weapons. There was even a policy adopted in providing them with modern weapons. As a certain portion of deserters of the government security forces and the rebel groups invariably tend to engage in underworld operations, the underworld in turn turned out to be a mafia organization using modern weaponry and modern criminal methods.  Politicians employed notorious criminals as security personnel. The former in turn were obliged to defend the criminals providing them with political protection.  Consequently, criminals enjoyed political protection and while ensuring the safety of the politicians, continued to pursue their brutal practices. Even the police seemed to support them when they knew that they were within the halo of politicians. Or rather, the police adopted a policy of simply turning a blind eye when they were engaged in criminal acts. Consequently, the criminals continued committing their usual crimes with impunity without fear of being punished by the law. They were engaged in the acts of killing, looting and taking ransoms. The consequent criminal atmosphere not only accelerated the crime rate but also made a corrosive and destructive impact on the social psyche and the spirit of society. The response of electronic and printed media in this context was such that in reporting this situation, instead of resorting to allay the pathological conditions created in the social psyche and the spirit of the society it adopted methods that further aggravated the problem.

Committing Crimes

The increase in the  crime rate is such that, as  has already  been pointed out in a previous article, the number of people found guilty at least once  for  murder, looting, burglary and rape  has been reported to be over 500,000 (this is the number of persons still alive and aged less than 70 years). This represents a share of 9.15 percent of the adult population of the country. This data reflects only one side of the picture. There has been a serious decline in the Rule of Law in the country over a longer period.  On average, only 4 percent of criminals tried before the courts of law in Sri Lanka are found guilty. It is not a congenial sign. At least 75 percent of the criminals put on trial must be punished if the law and order situation is to be considered socially favorable. Some criminals have committed consecutive crimes with impunity without being arrested by the police. This is primarily due to two main reasons. One is the political protection they enjoy and the other is the breakdown of the Rule of Law. For example, there were over one hundred warrants issued by the Courts against the infamous criminal – Julampitiye Amare. Similarly, there were a large number of warrants issued against a noted criminal known as Wambotta who was eventually assassinated. Dhammika Perera, the most infamous criminal in the country at one time, had committed over one hundred heinous crimes. The names of such people as Beddagane Sanjeewa, Sotthi Upali, and Gonawala Sunil can be added to this list. The picture that emerges  when we add the number of criminals who continue to engage in the acts of crime without being found guilty at least for once is rather shocking.
In this ugly socio political atmosphere which has been growing over a long period, it appears that even the gods have fled the sacred precincts that they had blessed previously with their divine presence. Thereafter, the devils in divine garb have taken possession of the sacred shrines. Consequently, the pilgrims to these holy places were compelled to worship not the real gods but the devils in divine garb. This situation has exceedingly contributed to exacerbate the degree of deterioration already set in the social psyche and the spiritual values of the people. The deterioration in the social psyche has had its pervading effect on almost everything and everyone. It has affected not only religion and politics; but even the aesthetic fields such as the  arts, literature and culture have come under its influence. Equally, the adverse impact of this trend has made its stamp on politicians, religious leaders, journalists, artists, intellectuals, professionals, farmers and labourers as well.

The Nature of the Distortion

This phenomenon can be presumed to be a peculiar distortion caused in the contemporary social psyche as the consequence of a combination of causes such as fear, distress, shock, tension, complexities and helplessness that affected the social life consecutively over a long period. This distortion  has resulted in  creating  a society which is characterized by sadistic tendencies such as the desire to acquire wealth by whatever means, callous disregard for law and order, propensity towards  corruption and fraud, tendency towards oppression and revenge, excessive desire to exhibit religiosity and spirituality and the readiness to discharge sexual urges by any low and uncivilized means.
How can we overcome this problem? If the government had a proper assessment of the situation, perhaps, it would have been possible to find a solution for this crisis at national level. Had there been a proper and genuine investigation into the circumstances that led the Sinhalese youth in the South at one time and the Tamil youth in the North later to plunge themselves into an armed struggle, it might probably have revealed how factors like caste and religion, the serious defects inherent in the system of governance and the administrative policies in operation had resulted in creating this great crisis. It would also have paved the way for realizing the need for reforms that are required for the promotion of national integration, establishment of the Rule of Law, a system of governance and a social system that would inspire the confidence and respect of everyone. If this was done, it would certainly have generated a profound social dialogue on these issues while at the same time serving as a social therapy capable of remedying the social psyche that is afflicted with anomalous distortions as outlined above.
The current head of state is a leader with a practical vision. He had the prudence to win the war against the LTTE.  However, he seems to be lacking adequate foresight required for effecting the great transformation that should have been initiated immediately after the war.  It is important to note that after the war, the country has entered into a complex phase which is fast changing with unusual rapidity. It is undoubtedly a historic phase .The demands of this phase are intricate and not so easy to grapple with using just a simple vision.
The historic phase that the country has entered into with the ending of the war will not stop at demanding a reasonable and just solution to the Tamil problem alone. Instead, it demands an overall transformation in the entire institutional system that encompasses the whole country. But, the preference of the head of state appears to be to keep away from the need for a great social transformation and only to find solutions to the Tamil problem.   That is also limited only to the material aspects of the problem.
There has been unprecedented progress in segments such as resettlement of displaced people, rehabilitation and release of LTTE activists, integration of Tamils into the police service, implementation of the trilingual language policy for the whole country and upgrading infrastructure facilities in the areas affected by war. Apart from these, the government has still failed to restore the most important aspects namely the restoration of respect and esteem that they had been deprived of. The weakest feature inherent in the reforms initiated by the government has been that the solutions have been confined to ad hoc measures ignoring the need for far reaching solutions aimed at transforming the entire socio political system.

Obsolescence of the Political System

By the time the war came to an end, the corrupt political system in the country had reached a point of decay and could no longer be used for the good of the country.  The system of governance bequeathed to the country by J. R. Jayewardene was not an efficient or sound system capable of inspiring the confidence of all communities. It was an ad hoc combination of several contradictory systems that lacked consistency. It was a corrupt system that conferred all the powers in one individual, the President. It left no room for the Rule of Law and distorted and diminished the democratic process.
At the time the war ended the political system that prevailed in the country had reached the point of obsolescence that could no longer be continued with without appropriate reforms being introduced. Also, with the ending of the war the serious deficiencies of the system were exposed. Historically, the survival of all political parties except that of the ruling party which controls the state power became exceedingly weak. Currently all opposition parties remain virtually confined only to their name boards. Ironically, history has offered the ruling party a temporary, but historic opportunity to effect the great social transformation that the country needs today. History demands this transformation.  Consequences of the failure to make use of this opportunity can be grave.  It can even bring about the collapse of the entire political system together with the ruling party that has hitherto survived. Apparently that is what is happening now.
Under the present context, there is no need for any external pressure from the opposition parties to make a burst in the government. Even a small technical defect is enough to cause a great explosion in a machine which is in an exceedingly dilapidated state and paralyze it. Probably, it can be reckoned to be a condition decreed by history. The probable outcome of not responding to this historic need can be compared to the fate of a decrepit house that is in danger of imminent collapse and requires to be demolished and debris thereof removed   before it falls on its own.

Where does the Solution lie?

Is there anything that those who sense the impending danger, in such a situation, can do? Those who feel the need for change must not sit still in dull despair. Instead, they can form themselves into a small group and discuss the issue and point out to the chief householder and the rest of the people living in the house of the danger of occupying the dilapidated house.  Most likely, the chief householder and the majority of the residents may not agree that the house will collapse soon.
They have lived in this house for a long period. It has remained in this condition for a long time. Whatever may be the level of dilapidation, it never collapsed. As such, they might tend to convince themselves that it may not fall down so soon and therefore, it would be possible for them to live there for some more time. Naturally, there is a resistance inherent in people in abandoning the old abode without having a new place to move to whatever the level of decay of the present house.
The next thing they can do is to abandon the old house which is in imminent danger of collapse and move into a temporary hut for the time being as an interim measure and start building a new house wherein all residents of the old house could live amicably and with a sense of respect. As the reader might question as to why I have used the phrase that “all residents of the old house could live amicably and with a sense of respect”, I feel it is appropriate to illustrate it further. I have used this phrase symbolically.
A considerable number of people lived in the house which was in near collapse. They all had common ownership of the house. They belonged to different races, different castes, and different religions. They used different languages. The service delivery and facilities provided had not been equal. The best section of the house had been occupied by those who belonged to the majority race, majority caste and majority religion. The majority group wielded the power over the others. Even those who hailed from the majority race but belonged to a different caste or a religion were given step motherly treatment. Similarly, there was no difference in the policy adopted towards the others who did not belong to the majority group.
There was no peace among the residents. The race, caste and religious differences often led to disputes. There were frequent quarrels among them. Some of them clamored for a decentralized administration in place of the central control that was in operation. There were various attempts to win their rights. Yet, there was no change in the system. The rifts and disputes that prevailed among the residents accelerated the process of decay of the house. The residents were unable to focus their attention on the decaying of the house due to the constant disputes among them
Let us presume that the small group that we mentioned above has abandoned the old house before it collapsed and moved into a temporary shelter and tried out a little experiment. This group consisted of people belonging to various races, castes and religions. They all lived in the temporary shelter as equals. Therefore, their life was free of disputes.
They discussed and reviewed the factors that had affected the inequalities and realized the futility of such differences thereby being able to put up with such differences. They learnt the art of living with mutual respect and love. They drew up a good plan for the construction of the new house which could be used by those living in the old house as well. Moreover, they even formulated a plan for its internal administration which ensures preservation of the individual identities of the residents and equal rights for all of them, thereby creating a congenial atmosphere that allows them to live in harmony and with mutual respect.
Apart from planning for a better house, they even envisioned a just and fair system of management for the new house. They even formulated a contingency plan to minimize the damage that may be caused by a sudden collapse of the old house. Furthermore, they explored the possibility of making use of the old house as a relief center in the event of an emergency and made a prototype to that effect.
In conclusion, what I wish to emphasize in this allegory is that even a small group of people with honest intentions and right attitudes could lay the foundation for a better socio-political system.
The temporary shelter that was erected after abandoning the old house can be compared to a “political ashram”. It is an institution that helps cleanse the spirit of the people and help them gain wisdom. The founder group of this political ashram should consist of men and women belonging to all races, castes and religions. They must be men and women of commitment with pioneering abilities. First of all, they must cleanse themselves in case they have soiled their hands.
They must be able to live by truth and love. They must be honest and wise and be guided by a consistent purpose. A body of men and women so inspired, if they choose, can profoundly influence the future.

Courtesy Sunday Leader

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Latest comments

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    Nice work.

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      Good stuff, to arrest the deterioration of the public psyche Sri Lanka and civil society needs to promote a culture of WHISTLE BLOWING – encouraging those with inside information on the regime’s (particularly Rajapassa Bros and sons and Basil 10 percent, Damika Perera the casino, president’s secretary Lalith – another corrupt bugger along with Jayasundara and Nivar Cabraal and other cronies’ corruption and crimes), should not be frightened of NAMING AND SHAMING the wrong doers. People need to be told the truth! Those who hold responsible jobs should hold their bosses accountable and should be ACCOUNTABLE.
      Unfortunately, Right now people who know the facts of regime fraud act very coy – like the two ex-SEC heads – rather than putting out the information they have on individuals involved in dirty deals in the public domain. Given that the justice system is in tatters due to political interferance the court of public opinion is the best way for experts who have inside knowledge to seek accountability while educating the public in a society reeling from filthy political corruption of the presidential family in all sectors – from education, to energy, to attacks on magistrates, to rapes by politicians etc.

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        Yes the hypocracy of the system is sustained by the failure of people to stand up and expose wrong does,. The culture in Lanka is to whisper and spread rumor instead of speaking clearly and naming the names of the corrupt individuals.
        The failure to name and shame and expose the corruption by those who know and pretend to be very pious like former SEC head Sujatha the wife of the corrupt secretary Lalith to cover up her husband’s connivance with the rajapakse looters is an example of how the system works! The current situation at the SEC would not have arrived if Sujatha had put the info out in the public domain in the first place..
        The current SEC head must put the info on corrupt deals in the public domain and be a whistle blower otherwise he might as well stay in the job and join the networks of hipocrites and criminality in the financial system to himself!

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          Yes No point sending reports to Rajapassa who is sitting on 4000 reports of corruption in high places – no doubt mostly his family and appointees who he can now blackmail.
          The reports of investigations need to be put in the public domain and released to the media so people know the truth.
          Time to end the secret reports and commission culture. The Tillakawardane report on military corruption should also be put in the public domain..

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    Is there, truly, no end to the ramblings of this Rajapaksa sycophant? The content of this man’s consistent obfuscation of fact regarding his masters’ conduct is bad enough without the added burden that any reader has to face in the matter of tortured syntax and grammar!
    Victor, why don’t you get someone to translate YOUR English into comprehensible English? Or would that defeat your purpose of enveloping the mess that is this country in the fog that you choose to conceal our reality and the fact that it is your real patrons who are responsible for the tragedy that is Sri Lanka today?

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    I am subject to correction, but what I heard of this Victor Ivan was that he hails …

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
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    I have two simple questions Mr Ivan, Being a indirect supporter of current regime do you have ethics to speak out on ” deterioration”? The second is, do you still have the backbone to write critically as you write in earlier days?

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      Why he is so afraid to mention kudu duminda, wermin silva and other corrupt politicians he patronize.?

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    Victor Ivan

    you cannot ‘tell it like it is’ because you’re one of those who’re frequently entertained by the chief householder of ‘decrepit house’; in fact you’re blind to the fact that ‘the chief householder’ of your allegorical house has already begun the process of building his own house on the ruins of the old house; the deterioration you see around you in SL society is a consequence of the process of ‘the chief householder’ building his own house according to his own style. You either see this and pretend not to or don’t!

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      I agree with you Cyril. There are two “Victors”. One is who drinks black lable with MR, the other is the one who writes articles like this.

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    Victor Ivan was in one such group which used every pathetic tactic in the book to achieve their goals and failed in it. JVP were simply animals.

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      Mr. Ivan alias Podi Athula is a founder member of the organization that chnged the history of Sri Lanka for the worse irreversibly. What right does he have to talk about righteousness?

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    Victor Ivan seems to be shifting his position of supporting the present regime which is an indication that the deteriorating state of affairs in the country is worsening and people like Victor cannot hide the facts any more. The number of dissenting voices are increasing. Is it the beginning of the end of the regime?

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    This is wonderful stuff. I like following admission from Victor Ivan in the article
    Quote
    The service delivery and facilities provided had not been equal. The best section of the house had been occupied by those who belonged to the majority race, majority caste and majority religion. The majority group wielded the power over the others. Even those who hailed from the majority race but belonged to a different caste or a religion were given step motherly treatment. Similarly, there was no difference in the policy adopted towards the others who did not belong to the majority group.
    There was no peace among the residents. The race, caste and religious differences often led to disputes. There were frequent quarrels among them Unquote.
    In the house Victor is talking about, Chief householder has replaced most of the pillars of a strong house such as, Justice System, Impartial Administrative service and an independent Police force, by very weak materials which could be easily bend according to the wishes of the Chief householder. In a good and strong house Chief householder delegates the building of the house to the people who have the best talents for the job. As a result house can be built at a lower cost and all the people will have a comfortable and higher standard of living. But in this house most important tasks are given only to family and others who are closer to Chief householder. Unfortunately these people all think of improving themselves and not the house. Chief house holder is only worried about his own family. They occupy the best and luxury rooms in the house. Decisions are taken by the family and others will have to accept it. Those who praise the Chief and family get the rewards, positions in the house, even can go to other countries with the courtesy of the Chief. Those who try to criticize are very often made to keep quiet by offering them some position in the house. Those who do not accept this bait will be prosecuted with bogus charges or punished in some other ways. Intelligent people understand this is wrong and due to Chief Householder’s corrupt management people are suffering, but no one wants to voice their feelings and risk their lives. Many other dictators like Gadhafi, Mubarak, or Assad, maintained similar management styles in their houses and all collapsed and Chief Occupier was thrown out. There are plenty of other dictators who would face the same fate. It is great that even at this stage Victor is coming forward to offer ideas to build a new house where all the people will have freedom, justice and fair play. Then like Victor dreamed, all the residents could live amicably and with a sense of respect

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    Victor ivan and many other journalist and artist directly responsible for this deterioration. he knows this gona happend thats what he removed RAVAYA web page at early stage

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    No need to go further. why don’t we talk about 5% investors and, so called SEC brokers, young and handy, who made millions and billions out of their inside dealings and at last sent TK home.

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    How can the president call out any dishonest person when he himself is corrupt.Need I list the illgotten loot.? its too lengthy.

    need

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    Hypocracy at the highest level. This guy betrayed everything and went behind MR. For material benefits and created the situation he is talking about. He is one of the arcitects of creating this situation. People should chase these types of characters first of all. Sakkiliya that is the suitable name for him

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    This writer, so called veteran for long held issues on Lanken politics deliberately waited that long to open up his mouth. I wonder what caused him to be silent in that manner, if he is genuine. How the guy would catergorize the corruption levels of present day in the country – also tolerating minister to run illegal drug dealings for example in Rathnapura area. If Ivan kept silent in the issue of embezzelment of Tsunami funds by MR then, I wonder how he would react against the buring issues such as drug dealing today.

    please check this out..

    Proof: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUX_BO_HsLg

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    what are the reasons politicians and their sympathizers to stay indifferent/apathetic while for example seeing that even remote areas being infected by Marjuana and Ganja today ?

    What brings Mahinda Chintanaya, Gama naguma or any other programs that they have been carrying out – if they cant address the drugs trafficking matters every corner of the country ?

    This can become to the levels of Colombia soon, if the authorities would not react accordingly. Commentators on this blog seem to be against those issues, but in the same time are helpless not realizing why the GOVT stay silent while the levels of these issues have reached to the appalling levels ?

    I personally believe, the sender Neth FM and the indispensable tasks of Balumagala are role model in eleminating drug problems in SL.

    Those are capable of doing so, should provide them with due funds.

    Proof: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUX_BO_HsLg

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    Hi Dear commentators,

    in which country you would find killers/abused ones that run all illegal activities but are close to the head of state ?

    Answer: ONLY PRESENT DAY SRILANKA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E19P4S9U_lA&feature=related

    Can anybody please add few comments on the updates of the investigation on the incident by which an innocient UK tourist was killed by those uncivilised MR thugs ? I am interested in what was due punishment

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      That man, Tourist was kiled, The man involved, A Friend of our President of Sri Lanka, Is out of Remand or Jail and he has got his Chairman ship with all powers, of the Provincial Council in Witch, The Presidents Elctorate.He is FREE AND FINE, Thanks for the inquary, All of them are keeping fine except for the dead.

  • 0
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    Maligawe okkama horu
    Watakaragena hora muluwak- Sarachchandra’s Mahasara

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    ‘Wisdom dawns late’, it is said. Yet one cannot understand as to how people of the calibre of Victor Ivan joined the camp of the communal, corrupt and violet regime and spoke for it. This article shows that there is a shift in the position. Good, let us forget the past and welcome the change and hope the change for the good is true and lasts and works in the interest of the people.

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    Mr Ivan has correctly identified the different maladies affecting the country but has conveniently not spelt out the name/names of the culprits responsible for them. He knows very well who they are but is a little shy to name them in his writings.

    Mr Ivan please be brave and say openly that the Rajapaksa clan are a corrupt and criminal thugs who have brought the country to its prsesnt state. You may get a white van ride and disappear but it is for the good of the country you love. So, go on and say it.

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      Oh..no..no please do not wish that tragedy happens to Ivan. As it is said that wisdom dawns late he has for the first time has the honesty to reveal the issues and he would gradually reveal the names as well. Having been an insider himsel Ivan should be knowing quite a lot more.

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    Little after May 2009 some of the events taking place generally in the country was the subject of discussion among those present were a ex-Sri Lanka politician, who still maintains some sort of relationship with the President and another, who was an Advisor to the President, was also present. The ex-politician said ‘MR could have led the Govt. to win the war but does not have the capacity to provide good leadership to the country and he will be a mess. The ex-Advisor said ‘I left becuase no good advices are respected and my conscience did not permit to betray the people and the blame will come on to me’. This was four years ago. Victor Ivan at least upto the time of writing the above article was a strong supporter of MR and he too now is expressing similar views as the ex-politician and the ex-Advisor.

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    The Writer is or was a Adviser to the The President I belive, What did he do for so long and when things have gone to Dogs Now he is talking. What was his advice to The President or was he simply enjoyed the laxuary of being as adveser. This reporter some time ago manage to topel Govts. But now and So late why?

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