23 October, 2017

Sri Lanka – No Turning Back now!

By R.A.Ratwatte

R.A.Ratwatte

I think there are some home truths to be faced now after the last elections. Those of us who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, who ramble on nostalgically about the values and standards we knew and even the parties we had… people it is all over !

There have been some irrevocable changes in Sri Lankan society and it has crept up on us when we were busy trying to survive the war. Over the last 30 odd years our perception of a politician ( Dudley Senanayake) has now changed to Rajapaksa. Our concept of gratification or a bribe to use sightly harsher terminology has changed from a bottle of Whiskey to a minimum payment of a hundred thousand rupees. Denzil Kobbekaduwa was our idea of an officer and a gentleman now we have another Rajapaksa or a Fonseka to choose from. Even our parties that used to reach a crescendo with loud and raucous Baila music ended with the exodus of the Burgher community and now Amaradeva and Thabla music hold sway!

Our perception of race and creed, when it only mattered if he was a” good chap” and his surname had nothing to do with it, has gone forever. This Government will use the election results to wind up the Sinhala people into thinking that the Tamils’ and of course the Muslims need to be “controlled”. You watch the spin doctors over the next few weeks and months telling the people how the ungrateful populace of Jaffna has voted for a separate state. Don’t worry they will somehow involve the Muslims’ in the devils equation as well.

The people who grew up during the war will respond with Sinhala solidarity and vote for Rajapaksa and Fonseka . Those will be the only alternatives available to the Sinhala and the UNP will HAVE to degenerate into thinking and behaving like the mainstream parties of thugs and rascals if they wish to ever command a majority again.

Forget about dreaming of having a society with old… or is it outdated, moral standards and values. When Loyalty is based on ethics and gratitude and not simply for sale to the highest bidder. The “new” people of Sri Lanka will always check if a person is from their own ethnic background and judgements will ALWAYS be based on that. Money will always call the shots as simple existence and making end meet is not possible for the “honest” …or is it outdated, wage earner.

The people have made their choice. All talk of computer “jil marts” etc have to be dismissed. The Sinhala majority has won the war and now thinks that they have to keep the advantage at all costs. Allowing the minorities to “raise their heads” will soon be considered a crime.

It is time for those who still live in nostalgia, to either leave the Country or live with an” expatriate mentality” and not get involved in the running of the Country. Enjoy the scenery, travel to your favourite places for as long as they are accessible and you can afford to and leave the governance to those who the people seem to have chosen.

After all the Country belongs to the people and the people deserve the rulers they have chosen!

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    “It is time for those who still live in nostalgia, to either leave the Country or live with an” expatriate mentality” and not get involved in the running of the Country.”

    Actually you are talking about the world. So where are you going to run to? This is a fight to the finish. Are you going to let the world be run by a bunch of savages or are we going to govern it ourselves? Get on with the job instead of blaming the savages.

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      Crazyold is right.
      No don’t run away, no don’t retraet to a negativist mentality.
      Stand your ground and fight.
      Yes there is only one world; there is no ther one to flee to.

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        I’d like to know where has Ranil Wickramasinghe disappeared since the UNP got thrashed at the elections? The coward who got rid of Dayasiri (who won the most seats ever at a PC election), because he knew he was more popular is hiding rather than facing the people with his RESIGNATION SPEECH.

        All of us who are disenchanted with the ROT in Lanka’s POLITICAL CULTURE need to write a letter demanding that Ranil the corrupt coward and Batalanda criminal – get out and stop destroying the UNP and the country with his shameless and corrupt greed for power…

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    I grew up in the ’70’s A child of Tamil and Sinhala parents, of Christian and Buddhist upbringing.

    Amidst all the happenings, we must not give up, this too will pass. There are Gallant Military Officers, post war the Tamils respect. Similarly, police officers, members of the administration etc.
    In Social Psychology we learn, that we are all changed according to the message communicated. During the time of CBK, most people on the streets were ready for a political solution. Rajapakshas changed that mind set. Similarly, a new order can change the mindset of the people.

    I am confident that the majority of our people will want their Tamil/Muslim brothers and sisters to live in peace.

    An interview, post war at a holding camp for the LTTE combatants, a military chap opined in Sinhala ” Megolanta thiyenneth apey thiyena prasna thami “( They have the same problems we have ), ” Api gedera yanakota, kiyanawa, parissamey gihila ena kiyala ( When we go home, they ask us to travel safely )”, Gedera gihin awahama, ahanawa, apey demaowpiyo honding innwada, nangila mallila honding innawada ( When we return, they ask us how our parents are, how are brothers and sisters are )”.

    The Nation is at interesting cross roads. The Northern PC election has shown there is indeed a different view than the always winning MR and always losing RW.

    As Lalith Athulathmudali once said. when this is over we will have a new Srilanka. To get there, we must pass this phase.

    Whether the Srilanka will be nation that includes all communities or whether one part or two, will be an international protectorate within a Unified motherland, is upto the regime and the people they influence.

    I hope we manage this wisely.
    Thanks for reading.

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      If you are Tamil and Sinhala you must have at least half a brain. The results of the election clearly shows ,Tamils have brains those Sinhala fellows have shit in their heads. All their lives they voted for rice from the moon, 9 grains and bread for 3.50 now for genocide!!!
      The Tamils take advantage of the shoddy carpets on roads, which costs them an arm and a leg, then cell phones, biriyani and illicit brews bought with their own money or with money stolen from them and, they vote for who they feel will do better by them.
      The Sinhala fellows have time and time again been told by their grand mothers to shut the toilet door and eat shit , but study and do what is good for you to get up and on in life. But the shit in their heads do not allow them to do that. OOOps poor modawansas. Are afraid of the Tamils only because they have what Modawansa does not!!!

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        Hey, isn’t there anything intelligent you can say ? Contribute to the discussion, bring people closer ? To understand each other ? next time. OK ?

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    This is the worst-case-scenario version. Mr. Ratwatte may be right the
    pre-1950 days of Trinity, Royal, Rugby, the CCS, Private parties – where the Burghers held sway is all over. The Yakos took over in 1956 and now dominate Cricket – and even athletics. Arjuna Ranatunge Sinhalised Cricket and now wears an un-cricket Sarong. Don’t worry too much about the Tamils in the North joining Tamilnadu. Our problem is we forget our recent history. Before 1500 A.D. they held supreme in their areas and were the majority there. The British-arranged marriage is only a hundred years old. What we are going through is estrangement. We Sinhalese have to decide if it going to be a coming together again or a divorce.

    Tamils will unite. They have resolve – the support of India and much of the world that we “chased away” with our bad mouth and raised- sarong kudu-Mervin attitude. They will invest in education and give prime place to English. They will use their diaspora power to become economically and socially strong. Using the army to change the demographics and hold them down permanently will work against us. After the Rajapakses leave the scene we must unite. Starting from now the regime will keep raising racial tension – merely to stay in power.
    They will use the oversized armed forces to keep us in chains.

    RJdeS

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      RJdeS,

      You make some valid points. It is our past mistakes that has led to the present situation of division amongst the races. But division of the country is not an option. The overwhelming TNA win will give them the false belief that they can now agitate for a separate state. We will not allow that even if another 30 year war is to be started. I do hope though that another was is unnecessary.

      Ratwatte’s nostalgia is understandable. They were a privelaged minority like you pointed out. Now it is us Yakkos turn. We are the majority and we need to party as well.

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        All you guys who want old times back stop financing these misled Sri Lankans . You help them they get easy money eat for free and vote for Rajapaksa

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        BBS Rapper,

        No my friend you are right to say that: It is our past mistakes that has led to the present situation of division amongst the races.

        But wrong to say following:

        1)But division of the country is not an option.
        It might not be an option for you but for us it is the only means of Survival whether you like it or not.
        The overwhelming TNA win will give them the false belief that they can now agitate for a separate state.
        It is not a false belief and I am sure even you would admit that Lord Buddha has been guiding us ( I dont want to say this too loud just in case Raj the ASH hears it it because he doesnt like any one batting for Lor Buddha or Puhal Padirathu) and it is a reality. Division of the countrty can be achieved in two ways.
        1) Complete seperation as a Nation.
        2) An autonomous State within a State and it is up to you as to how you want to play and we would settle for either. March 2014 beckons.

        2)We will not allow that even if another 30 year war is to be started. I do hope though that another was is unnecessary.

        Rapper this time it wont take 64 years and it will be over in a matter of hours after March 2014. So face facts mate.

        Ratwatte’s nostalgia is understandable. They were a privelaged minority like you pointed out. Now it is us Yakkos turn. We are the majority and we need to party as well.
        You have been partying for the last 64 years and the PARTY IS OVER because the bottle has run dry.

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      Forget the Tamils. We can do it too. Lets just get our act together and throw the yakkos out and lest do it in style without any shouting or fighting. The ballot and the law must be truly shown to be stronger than the bullet.

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      RJdeS, do u think the world is rearranging it self into the past order. The UN says in a few years time there will be 54 new nations. Nations that are Fully Sovereign or Jointly Sovereign. This was said some time back. We see Syria going the Sunni. Shia and Christian/Kurd way, Irag going the Sunni, Shia, Kurds way, the Balkans, Sudan. Scotland, Wales, Basque etc.
      Will SL as we know now, settle in it’s past form ? the Tamil Nation and the Sinhala Nation. How can we hold the latter together ?

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        Viswajith – The chances for us to see more States disintegrating in the next decade than now is greater than seeing disintegrated States coming together e.g. Yugoslavia, Sudan, Timor L’este. If
        the Sinhala South gather up their foresight and wisdom, with political and religious leadership, Sinhalese and Tamils can get together again. The TNA repeating, in recent times, they want to work within an undivided Sri Lanka is a declaration we must not let slip by. In my recent visits to Jaffna I found most Tamils want the pre-1956 unity. If we help them develop the North and allow them to live in peace and safety there is no reason to fear
        they will want to separate.

        As to worms like Jim Sofy I am afraid we are fated to live with
        the idiotic and the mindless. The worm thinks East London is what it was prior to WW2. He does not know that is where there has been the greatest investment and development – including the venue of the Olympics and the new business district. To answer him – I am very much in Kolamba nagaraya.

        Ravi Perera – I am yako too. Arjuna brought in some unsavoury features to Cricket to launch his political-business career. I am proud he lead us to the 1996 WC victory. But in politics, the entire family was a disaster. Whatever happened to that Cancer Hospital to which many of us contributed?

        RJdeS

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          Thank you for your response.

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      R J DE SILVA:

      You look like a colonial master’s boot licker who lost the privileged Status.

      Are you living in East London ?

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        Jim Sooty,

        Now we know where you live and what you do. So you have given up your Punch Banda culture and turned in to a WOG. Well done you WOG.

        Living in the East End of London ( Is it Mile End, East Ham, West Ham Stratford) you must work in a Sunday Market and have you learnt broken Hindi broken Tamil.

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      Tamils vote for system where dogs are better off than a majority of the humans beings in their society based on a decadent caste system. The only place Tamils of the so called low caste can live like human beings is in the South with their Sinhala compatriots. The voting that took place in the North will only perpetuate this real discrimination in the North – on mans inhumanity to another.

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    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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    Perhaps the writer forgets it is the the old elites who taught this brand of politics to the young turks who are now in power. If DS had selected Banda to head the government instead of Dudley while he(DS) went on tour, things might have been very different. That nepotistic move set the tone for a brand of party politics that promoted family over country and this is the result.

    His aunt, Sirima Ratwatte’s Oxford educated husband shamelessly played the race card in 56. The line from that, to Sinhala Majoritarianism that is now a Rajapakse brand, is linear.

    Nepotism, Racism and graft, the evils of our times can be traced back to the practices of the ‘good old chaps’ who danced the night away with loud and raucous Baila.

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    ~crazyoldmansl` is correct because he is not crazy in this crazy land. I wish at least ten per cent of our people could think like him and
    RJdeS.

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    Very pessimistic indeed. I grew up pre WW2 and post Independence too. Things were rosy only for certain classes and castes. Free education gave us the bonus of ‘free’ thought; certainly a better option than absolute ignorance.I have hope-that people on the ground will ignore political rhetoric and resurrect a new Sri Lanka.

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    The above comments are as good as the Article. Thank you RAR. It is a damn shame that we have lost a Respectable, Law Abiding Society with Moderate Political Leaders who were Honest to the point of not fiddling the Govt coffers for their personal gain as seen today. We had checks and balances with a Senate House in case the riff raff entered the Parliament as happened by Banda opening the Flood gates. We also had a system where Elections were held after the Govt being dissolved under a Caretaker Govt to prevent misuse of Govt Property so that an even field was created to all. Our Compatriot Politicians did away with all these Checks and Balances to eventually create the Frankenstein Monster MR.

    Although MR boasts of holding frequent Elections to dispel accusations of his Authoritarian Rule, the whole country knows how Free and Fair the Elections are today? We saw how MR won the Presidential Election in 2005 bribing and promising the Sun and the Moon and in the end got VP to bury all the heavy artillery and come out of their stronghold Kilinochchi to a Beach front, only to be massacred the whole lot. Thereafter MR believed that he could easily defeat RW at an Election with a War Victory tucked under his sarong. Then we saw much to MR’s surprise, SF coming forward to battle MR after SF had been sidelined by the Rajapaksas. The majority of the Country expected SF to win but it was not to be as MR cunningly manipulated the system for his victory. Thereafter we have seen every Election has been flawed with gross violations, where hundred percent Govt Machinery, including the Forces and the Police being used by the MR govt with absolute Impunity. It is in this manner that the MR govt has won elections and the UNP led by RW has fielded losses. If someone has an ounce of Grey Matter will understand how MR’s favourites win with massive majorities, in like fashion how Wimal Weerawansa, Basil, Mervyn and now Dayasiri Jayasekara have won.

    Where MR failed to put his Election Machinery in to force was in the NPC Elections where there were many SAARC Election Monitoring Team present. Even then they printed a fake Udayan Paper and a Fake Poster of Vignasveran with a different number to mislead the Tamils in the North. Imagine if MR resorted to do this with the presence of out side Observers, what he would not have done in the South to Elect his own catchers?

    Today’s Head lines in the Daily Mirror is Basil stating there will be two more PC elections early next year. After the DENT caused on the MR regime by the Tamils in the North, it appears MR wants to cover up his loss, yet again repeating his usual tactics. I believe Future Elections should be strictly held under Care taker govts without allowing Ministers to remain in Power to misuse Govt Property and all Elections should be held on the same day without allowing it to be staggered where the Govt in Power uses it’s maximum power to RIG the Will of the People.

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      Gamini – good to see you using civilised language now , rather than the absolute garbage you used to spew out in the past .Stick to the topic and you’ll do just fine .

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    Absolutely correct. Those “good old days” are gone forever including hundreds of thousands of “good” people to live in other more enlightened countries. JRJ and SWRD destroyed the country in different ways. One by setting the precedents for a Government to act with impunity and the other to embrace racism. The combination is deadly and the clock can never be turned back. Pandora’s Box is now open and we can only send our children overseas if they are to live a decent life with dignity no matter what religion or race they belong to.

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    RJ De Silva,

    “Arjuna Ranatunge Sinhalised Cricket and now wears an un-cricket Sarong”

    This is a very unfair comment. Pre Arjuna days were the Royal thomian days where our cricketers were only from privileged homes. It was Arjuna who revolutionized cricket in the country for us to get to where we are today.

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      It is just a Racist comment.

      R J DE silva may be thinking that America has not outlawed Slavery yet.

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    The ‘good old days’ for the westernised English speaking elite were the ‘bad old days’ for the Tamil and Sinhala speaking masses. Now the situation is reversed. Class has given way to Race and Religion. Everybody wants their moment in the sun. Unfortunately it is much easier to destroy the old remnants of colonialism than to construct a just society to replace it.
    Remember your humanity and forget the rest.

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    You are correct Ratwatte. Rjapakse is going to wind up the Sinhalese against the Tamils and Muslims so that he can win the next Presidential election which he will have next year. The sad part is people who are suffering all over Sri Lanka are still voting for Rajapakse. Its time a strong common presidential candidate should come forward to contest against Rajapakse. Who is there, is it Chandrika or Shirani, or the Thera who is opposing the presidential system of government? I cannot think of any one else.

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    Go to Gaurdian.
    CJ Wigneswaran travelling from Jaffna to colombo is held up for 3 hrs late at night at a gas station in Vavuniya.The guy by mistake had pumped diesal instead of gas for his vehicle.

    The pics published shows Chief Minister Wigsneswaran standing patiently and calmly watching while the mistake was corrected.
    We also see other pics.Chairs put out,CJW seated with few others,some standing chatting to him.A down to earth homely scene.

    Looks like the Army was peacefully asleep in the barracks.

    No throwing up his hands,yelling shouting,kicking,slapping the guy.Threatening him with verbal abuse that he will make sure he is arrested – that he is the Chief minister for the north.
    Not holding his smart phone complaining.

    we all make mistakes don’t we?.Vavuniya will remember this scene and CJW with much affection for his undrstanding.

    In Jaffna many heavy vehicles run on diesel.The driver from colombo may not have undestood the situation,the guy at the gas station would have thought the vehicle is on diesel.In vavuniya at dead of night 3 days after elections – No blowing the trumpet that this is the chief minister’s vehicle.No fan fare travelling with escorts back to Colombo after a meeting in the North.

    A lesson for the driver from colombo and the gas station help in vavuniya in a kind and understanding way.

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      well we can atleast be happy that at least we have one Chief Minister in Sri Lanka who ic cultured and educated and acts in a civillised way!

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        Hannah and Peace lover,

        For how long is the vital question here ! Will Mr. Vignaswaran be able to behave in this manner and above all else persuade others to behave like this or “revert to type” and behave like all the others.

        You have raised a vital point, The new chief minister designate can make a HUGE difference to the future of this Country.

        The million dollar question is can one man make a difference ?

        We hope and pray for this !

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          Yes Sir, One man can make a difference. Just one example is Nelson Mandela, and there are many others.

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    One man can make a difference.Yes.
    In the present time –

    Now we have THREE WISE MEN and the faithfull and courageous shepeards to assist them to gather the flock and give them water,food and shelter.
    I smell something in the air hovering above them that it may not be an easy task what with brothers of the south looking over their shoulders and now trying their best to give security detail to spy on CJW work.
    There is a lot of sauce available in the south and yet the sauce on the other side of the fence now looks brighter and tangier to them.

    As some singhala friend corrected one of their brothers and probably ‘leela’- For 50 yrs the Tamils have not wavered from their request to live with Peace and Dignity.
    In this context,if the new CM is not interfered with by Gota and his stooges trying to direct operation like in the Defense Ministry all will be well.

    Do you smell something else in the air from where ever you are?

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    The air is highly charged and the next 3 months will tell. I hope Viggy’s ( no disrespect meant rather something bordering on affectionate respect !)health is up to the demands.

    From where I am I get a faint smell of Ganja, mixed with diesel and the smell of newly printed money. Fortunately the acrid smell of cordite (from the war) seems to have blown away, at least for the moment.

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    I grew up during the era Bandaranayaka and Senanayaka change the govenment every 5th year with their resisit corrupt politics….and now after all these yesrs nothing much havent changed….Rajapaksas continuing the same crap…..buildingb dinasties !Its really sad !

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    Mr.Ratwatte,

    1)I agree that There have been some irrevocable changes in Sri Lankan society but that started during the tenure of your family as follows:
    a) The introduction of Sinhala Only
    b) The face race riots. 1958 ethnic riots popularly known also as the 58 riots was a watershed event in the race relationship of the various ethnic communities of Sri Lanka. The total number of deaths is estimated to be 300, mostly Sri Lankan Tamils.

    It is a bit rich coming from you when you say it that the irrevocable changes has crept up on us when we were busy trying to survive the war.
    For us Tamils it was a fight for Survival and the lives of Tamils has been turned in to a night mare .

    Successive Sinhalse Governments have used the Race Card for their own ends which has left the country where it is today.
    The so called LTTE terrorissm has been repalced by State Sponsored Terrorism headed by MR and hos cronies.

    I was shocked to see an inteview that MR gave to Aljazera in which he claimed the that there is a propaganda to discredit his Government and he is not guilty of anthing and no one has been killed and it is all a lie.

    In my book he is a Thug, Crook, Criminal, Looter , Fiddler and I was incensed after seeing his interview and he is a cool calm and calculating murderer.

    But you have got him as President for life so good luck but we are parting company.

    2) “This Government will use the election results to wind up the Sinhala people into thinking that the Tamils’ and of course the Muslims need to be “controlled”. You watch the spin doctors over the next few weeks and months telling the people how the ungrateful populace of Jaffna has voted for a separate state. Don’t worry they will somehow involve the Muslims’ in the devils equation as well.”

    You are way off with your above alalysis and there is no need to wind up the Sinhala People as they have been wound up and are spinning out of controlfor the alst 64 years.

    3) The people who grew up during the war will respond with Sinhala solidarity and vote for Rajapaksa and Fonseka . Those will be the only alternatives available to the Sinhala and the UNP will HAVE to degenerate into thinking and behaving like the mainstream parties of thugs and rascals if they wish to ever command a majority again.

    **** Can you expalin the above to me. If the Sinhalse who grew up during the Freedom Struggle respond by showing solidarity with MR and discard UNP arent the Tamils who faced a brutal onslaught by the Sinhalse Majority for the last 64 years not entitled to vote for TNA. This amounts to one rukle for Sinhalsese and one rule for the Tamils.

    4)The people have made their choice. All talk of computer “jil marts” etc have to be dismissed. The Sinhala majority has won the war and now thinks that they have to keep the advantage at all costs. Allowing the minorities to “raise their heads” will soon be considered a crime.

    ****No my friend we will be our own masters and with our own Juridiction we will define what crime is not you lot.

    5)It is time for those who still live in nostalgia, to either leave the Country or live with an” expatriate mentality” and not get involved in the running of the Country. Enjoy the scenery, travel to your favourite places for as long as they are accessible and you can afford to and leave the governance to those who the people seem to have chosen.
    Just one correction.
    Leaving the country: Yes we are moving down North.
    Leave the Governance to those elected: Yes in our case to the CM not to MR

    After all the Country belongs to the people and the people deserve the rulers they have chosen!
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    The same old Tamil racist crap !

    You have taken the goddess Kali’s name beware Kali is the destroyer….look out for your cause it was militarily destroyed once now the Diaspora will run out of steam soon !

    PLEASE move to the North and we will see how long you last there.

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