29 November, 2022

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Sri Lanka On Economic & Sociocultural Reverse Gear; She’s Cycling Back To Poverty

By Vishwamithra

“Only the solitary seek the truth, and they break with all those who don’t love it sufficiently” ~ Boris Pasternak

Rajapaksa family

A nation’s journey through the ages has always been forward. Her physical and administrative structures, her people and the basic architecture of her societal change may have experienced temporary setbacks and even breakdowns every now and then, but her forward hike through many proverbial summits and valleys, though on a few occasions has been excessively painful, yet always, without exception, has striven to straighten herself and go ever so forward again. Trekking backwards has never been an option.

March of a nation’s history is inevitable, as a concept, as a moving organism and as a pure matter of fact. Nevertheless, when marching forward comes to even a temporary halt, the process throws out so many signals, some direct and other vicarious as the case maybe. Yet a prudent observer would find within his tools, experience and character enriched by proper education and sociocultural poise, and ways and means to analyze and theorize as to what comes next and what action, even if rudimentary, is necessary to circumvent looming disasters and destruction of the societal fabric he has been educated to weave and sustain with care and compassion.

But it is also not strange to find that some nations after gaining so-called independence from their colonial masters, in their own maddening way, began running amok, making the colonial masters look like very compassionate grandfathers as opposed to the popular and historical postures of hard and cruel exploiters of the first order. What made this phenomenon true was the most brutal and unreasonable fashion in which the succeeding new masters, although local, was no second to the colonial masters who had perfected a system of governance that was exclusively one-sided on the one hand and latently democratic on the other.

Ceylon falls into this camp of newly independent countries in the immediate aftermath of the nineteen forties and fifties and later in the twenty first century. We, in the beginning of the third decade of the twenty first century, are experiencing the full range of offensive effects of a failed process whose beginnings were fairly encouraging, but half way down the line, became utterly mediocre at best and hopelessly irredeemable at worst.

Evidence for such a deep and sudden fall in the nation’s economy and sociocultural growth can be attributable to a sustained efforts by those who chose to rule the country and those who choose the rulers both decided to subordinate the nation’s traditional and established norms of decent living and unexciting ambitions to faster pace to achieve success and do precisely that at any and all costs. What once commenced at the top of the leadership ladder, political, religious, private and public sector and academia spheres, began its spiraling down to the lower levels of the social make-up, the very identity of the infirmity became blurry and almost invisible. And we did not realize its tormenting process because it has become an integral part of the whole social fabric. Corruption, an ugly, obscene yet one single trait in our society has paradoxically become the whole.

This sociocultural decay has had its drastic consequences on the body-economy of the country in a reverse way. Instead of the economic hardships imposing their brutal repercussions on the sociocultural organism, the decay in the sociocultural life has damaged the economy beyond repair. That is exactly what the Rajapaksas proved, once again beyond any reasonable doubt.

The Rajapaksas set out to do what they as a bunch of siblings who did not enjoy all the luxuries and comforts during their growing up age. Although Anura Bandaranaike, the son of two Prime Ministers and a grandson of the Gate Mudaliyar during the colonial era, used to be very friendly with Mahinda and Basil and was a frequent visitor to Mada Mulana residence of the Rajapaksas, the aristocratic finish of the Bandaranaikes did not touch on the much more rustic Rajapaksa family. Even S W R D Bandaranaike did not have all that political faith in the Senior D A Rajapaksa although old D A was the one of the few parliamentarians who crossed over from the United National Party-led government in 1951 with S W R D. Bandaranaike’s token of appreciation was just an appointment as Parliamentary Secretary (now known as Junior Minister) to the Minister of Lands and Land Development. The then Rajapaksas were not good enough, either in professional capacity or social standing, to hold a Cabinet portfolio for the Bandaranaike’s low country aristocracy.

Ironically it’s another Hambantota man, Mahinda Amaraweera, who happened to be gainfully engaged in ‘front entrance-bus transport’ industry prior to his entry into common man’s parliament who is now preaching to his passengers to cycle their way to and from their usual and unusual chores of the day. Accordingly, a Cabinet paper has already been prepared to take steps to promote the use of foot-bicycles, the Minister said. Amaraweera says that steps will be taken to provide an eco-friendly approach to the promotion of bicycle use due to its ability to reduce air pollution, prevent wastage of time as well as the ability to control many non-communicable diseases. It has also been decided to set aside a lane on each road for cyclists and to introduce a regulatory program to provide certain promotional benefits to cyclists in institutions affiliated with the Ministry of Environment.

Amaraweera did not make this announcement on his own volition. He has neither the spine nor the will to do it. He was obviously directed by a higher authority (your guess is as good as mine) to send this trial balloon and tragically no one has taken note of it.

When the cyber revolution is sweeping the global marketplace and private space-travel is being robustly sponsored by private sector mega entrepreneurs, advertising for cycle traveling by none other than the Minister of Transportation, Power and Energy in Sri Lanka is a pathetic storytelling of another dimension.

Three Cs: Corruption, (In)Competence and Cost of Living

The three Cs, Corruption, (In)Competence and Cost of Living are going to cost the Gotabaya regime big time. Mahinda Amaraweera and the rest of the Gotabaya-Cabinet are not aware what’s awaiting them at the polling booth. Whichever elections come first, Presidential or parliamentary, unless there is massive irregularities on the election day, both at the polling booth and then followed at the counting centers, there is no way the Rajapaksas could prevail after what they did during the last two and half years.

They added new dimensions to the words of corruption and nepotism. They also enriched the Sinhalese dictionary with words which were not yet known to be used in the presence of elderly or adolescents. It’s not the members of the Gotabaya-Cabinet and their parliamentarians that are coming for harsh and merciless attack, it’s their mothers who have to face the brunt of this ruthless onslaught by very ordinary, non-aristocratic gentry. Sinhalese language is a very rich and ever-expanding language, the language of Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula and Wettewe Theros, the language of Parakramabahu the Sixth and that Professor Ediriweera Sarathchandra and Mahagama Sekara. But the language of these pundits is being loosely abused by the ordinary folks in the country to the stain our government leaders to such contempt and dishonor, the language itself is being subjected to nasty exploits.

Such philosophical discourses and prudent arguments are not deserved by the current rulers of the country. When they realize that the coming signs are no good and that at the back of all these nasty episodes that bear resemblance to the chaotic manner of governance and idiotic and self-serving application of policies and principles, they tend to disown the bad sides and fully own whatever that might be there as tolerable and worthy of praise. They belong in another circle of vicious sin and intellectual poverty.

One cannot begrudge the successes of those who have started as paupers and climbed up the ladder of prosperity through their own free will and labor. Such men deserve every credit and success they have achieved. The Rajapaksas do not belong to that rare class of hardworking men and women. They clung on to the Bandaranaikes so long as they knew that it was necessary for them to do in order to climb the proverbial greasy pole. Once they got there, it was totally a different story altogether.

In 2005 they got there. And ever since then, it was they and only they that mattered. The obscenity of their corrupt rule and the extravagance of their greed and avarice overpowered everything and everyone else. But fortunately or unfortunately for all Sri Lankans, the grand entry of the Covid pandemic changed the rules of engagement for the Rajapaksas. Total lack of capacity on the part of the Rajapaksa family to manage the Covid crisis and the attendant repercussions blew open the bare nudity of their intellectual capacity as well as avaricious tendencies of a family who treated the crisis well below their own needs and wants. The country is going to pay for this sin very harshly and with painstaking torture. The Rajapaksas are going to take the country back cycling to poverty and it’s going to be a very unpleasant and tormenting one.

*The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com  

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Latest comments

  • 28
    1

    As I read, ‘The then Rajapaksas were not good enough, either in professional capacity or social standing’, of Vishwamithra, the only thought that ran thru my mind was, “How about the present?”
    Today, Rajapaksas are even worse. We pretend not noticing it!

    • 8
      2

      Nathan, Like the Tonga island eruption suddenly last month with ash and larva, we need to recognise Disaster, Devastation and Destruction of systems for profit, and engage for restoration of those beings into Preservation, Conservation and Construction. Tonga was to make money by rebuilding infrastructure when the tectonic plates ruled by beings erupted showing the physical controlled by spiritual atmosphere.

      • 9
        1

        Kaputa Kaput

    • 2
      0

      There is a reason why an aristocrat, SWRD did not give DA a seat at the table. That reason was valid then and it is still valid now. I am not just stating this for the sake of saying it. Look at the track record of Senior Premadasa and the Rajapkshe clan it is proven correct. But still 6.9 million voters ignored this lesson while so called intellectuals could not accept this simple truth. I am very worried for the country. Dim Witted imbeciles cannot deal with this situation. Only wise well educated people with roots in the old aristocracy recognize what is coming and have the ability to guide this nation thru it. But unfortunately most Sri Lankans will go with the opposite choice and take the country to its doom. We are already well on the way to doom.

    • 2
      0

      Nathan,
      .
      even if you and I would see it, but not many would see it yet today.
      .
      The behaviour is similar to those became drug addicts.
      :
      Srilankens are born stupid – I mean the majority, sinhala buddhism for some reasons injected it going beyond the powers of vaccines. Mahinda Rajapkshe knows it very well, that srilanken average are the stupidiest of the world. Even if my wishes would be to see Mahinda to shed his last breath in a prison cell, where he deserves it, not many would agree with me even on this PLATFORM. My cry is there is no other politicians, that suck the last blood drop of the people, just because his power greediness is above the nation.

  • 17
    1

    Dear Vishwa
    What is the alternative where do we go from here, a real hell hole

    There seems no sign of the regime changing track to improve the status quo. As you say their bare nudity to reality is frightening because an eruption is imminent which could have catrostphic consequences.
    The worse is that the opposition is in disarray and busy safeguarding their own skin
    The leadership of SJB is somewhat muted and ineffective and as for UNP
    It’s dead on its heels
    The future is very gloom

    • 15
      0

      Ratnam Nadarajah,
      The future is very gloom as long as the people of this island realises that our politicians are there for money and power, not for the people or country. Similarly, political leadership are for money and power, not for people or country. So, trusting them to solve the issues or govern this nation to the benefit of people or country is not in the table of politics and religions. This may be the same in many other countries but we cannot simply escape from this politics and religions but if the people can take control over the conditions and standards and restrictions on the level of power and level of money the politicians and religious leadership we can save this country at least in future with minimum level of problems. This needs change of attitude of the people to change the attitude of political and religious leadership or force them to change. For example, to become the leader or minister of this country, he should be a citizen of this country for at least five years or ten years of continuous citizenship of this country and should not have more than 1 millionRs. worth of income and assets at any time. Similarly, any member of parliament elected from one political party should not become a member of another party or move to another party or become a minister without an election.

      • 12
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        YES Ajith I couldn’t disagree with you. Politicians of all shades and colour are same which ever party you turn to.
        Politics in 3rd world nations are money a making entity and the politicians are parasites feeding on the vulnerable.
        Quick to play the race card to save their skin in Srilanka
        The politicians are duty bound to declare their assets. Tell me a single fellow or woman who have truthfully declared his/her assets. Its all humbugg and cheating

        • 3
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          Dear Nada,
          .
          It isn’t a secret that we talked on WhatsApp for more than an hour yesterday, is it?
          .
          I thought we agreed that of the 225 Members of Parliament at least 210 are out and out crooks. Didn’t we also agree that there are a handful who are honest; identifying them is the problem.
          .
          Unfortunately we have reached a stage where we have three languages in the country, of which most speak only one. I speak two, and you, Nada, speak all three. Sadly, we have come to a situation where most cast votes for one of “three communities” that populate this island. Changing that is difficult. Theoretically, at least, I will not allow community or caste (there’s another complication!) to deny people like Imtiaz Bakeer Marker or Shanakiya Rasamanickam (both happen to be trilinguals!) my vote, if they are on my slate, but in practice even my vote goes to a “Sinhalese.”
          .
          Knowledge of English doesn’t really count. “Kaputa Basil Rajapaksa” will not get my vote for other reasons!
          .
          Having agreed on all that, you now tell us that “All politicians are the same.” Don’t you see the contradictions?
          .
          Panini

        • 0
          0

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      • 3
        0

        Dear Ajith,
        .
        We’re for ever complaining about the governments chosen by the majority of the people. Why?
        .
        Because few of us realise that this is a secret but public exercise, and that the vast majority of voters don’t agonise over this issue the way that we (who think ourselves clever) are wont to do.
        .
        I start off by saying what I’m going to do: I will vote for those candidates grouped as the NPP (of which best-known are from the JVP). I’m not myself in total agreement with the JVP.
        .
        I ask all citizens of Lanka to think before they vote. I know that of about 15 million voters at most a thousand will pay heed to what I say. Others will not take in what I say. My words hopefully reach a thousand brains because I say it even to strangers if I can catch their attention. I will say it to Gota if I meet him!
        .
        I’m not compelling or bribing people to emulate me; I’m saying just think!
        .
        All more complex discussion must come after that!
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe
        of Bandarawela

  • 7
    0

    Rajapaksas to impose sanctions on Russia. Ha ha ha!

  • 18
    0

    Both major political power groups in Sri Lanka have no intention of promoting the welfare of its people. That has been clear for many years now. Their interest has always been in protecting each other from criminal charges and ensuring they remain out of prison for their crimes against the people. At every election there is a friendly competition while the ordinary hoi-polloi imagine that their masters really dislike their opposite members, and virtually clash against their opposition supporters. What is required is a dismantling of the rapacious parasitic system that rewards crime and punishes truth tellers (like Ranjan Ramanayake) as an alternative force emerges. That force will already have established their credentials as bona fide aspirants seeking genuine upliftment of the country from its stinking morass.

    • 9
      0

      Very true Lasantha
      Hardly any politician in Srilanka cares for the welfare of the electrorate. How do you get rid the parasites. It’s an Herculean task
      May be as you say people like Ranjan and the late Foreign minister Mangala Sameraweera may be a good fit

    • 10
      0

      Dear Lasantha Pethiyagoda,
      As much as I agree with your opinion, I stand disillusioned with your prescription.
      Let me explain.
      ‘…. That has been clear for many years now’.
      How many years are you speaking about? When did the ‘parasitic system’ begin? What was the story before?
      .
      The day we let politicians exploit the ethnic differences is the day we began dismantling democracy in the country. From then on it was a gradual and continuous slide towards today’s ‘stinking morass’.
      Unless and until you begin telling the story as is, there is no chance in hell of any ‘bona fide aspirants’ getting us out of it.

    • 3
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      Dear Lasantha,
      .
      I agree, but there is something that gets lost in your longish comment!
      .
      Many readers will take away from your comment the message that “all politicians belong to the rapacious parasitic system”.
      .
      Being a village schoolmaster, I realise that most people read like that. That applies even to our cosmopolitan CT readership.
      .
      That doesn’t usually apply to your thinking and comments, but guys like you of above average intelligence don’t sometimes realise that most are less intelligent.
      .
      There! I’ve made hundreds of enemies!
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe of Uva

  • 15
    0

    The “Kaputa Family” ruling this country, as if it’s their own kingdom, has ruined the country, but while ruining they have accumulated wealth abroad. It’s sad we have so many MPs, especially in SLFP, SLPP, and UNP who are slaves of this family. Its important that the eyes of these slaves have to be opened first to see how the masses feel about them. In order to do that each party, civil activists , and those who want to turn this country around must visit each household and explain to them the current political situation in SL.

    Evan law and order has gone to dogs in this country. Take for example the Son who is a senior police officer and the father who is the minister in charge of the police has not intredicted the Son who has placed a negative facebook entry in his account re: Samuditha’s attack. If the minister does not do his job why should he still be the minister? How can a senior police officer make such a statement? Why the “kaputa family” has not taken any action against this minister? This is only one instance, there are so many instances such as this happening every day. What about the inquiry of Lohan placing his gun on the heads of prisoners? Same story.

  • 2
    0

    According to media this is how all parties are working on saving a failed nation. 1) UNP is trying to get Champika and Welgama back to form collision promising Champika as presidential candidate which apparently his dream 2) RW has his own dreams and working on a secret deal with Gotha 3) UNP offered Deputy president post to SP which he is not interested. If true then it may be a plan of RW/ Gotha to weaken SJB by putting Champika and SP at odds.4) following three clowns WW/ Vasi/ Goman now Lanza is on war footings within SLPP. 5) there is brewing rift between MR and GR factions to show who is real boss. 6) SF behaves as if he is his own boss giving grandiose statements. 7 ) Pissu Sira has not given up on becoming some thing by hook or crook. He with SLFP will do anything to keep power. 8) but other professional/ senior crooks in SLFP may soon demand their share 9 ) minorities can’t unite for their own people 10) left over JVP / NPP has lesser chances than Lankan cricket team winning ICC trophy in near future. 11 ) These Sully Lanka politicos are promising to save bankrupt nation 12 ) GOOD LUCK.

    • 3
      0

      Loud mouthed Keheliya was told by CEB to pay his mega electricity dues amounting to 12, 056, 803. 38. If this worthless guy owns this much to just one utility board, what will be the total dues/unpaid bills of our patriotic politicians. On top they receive salary, pension, free meals , perks ——and the common man is now without electricity, water, food, medicines ——. What is the chance of this rogue settling his dues ???? any guesses.

      • 3
        0

        None, chiv, none!
        .
        There! I’ve answered your question, although I’m rather annoyed with you for so emphatically dismissing the NPP in your previous comment.
        .
        Incidentally, chiv, I became a teacher before I was out of my teens. I’m told that Keheliya R. had been in the first class that I taught – English – at STC, Gurutalawa. I think that I owe the lot of them more than one apology. I have met the fellow subsequently at OBA get-togethers, but never thought much of him, even when he was coming out on top of the UNP slate for Kandy.
        .
        I acknowledged that with distaste, but it was pleasant to have Vijitha Herath of the JVP say that he remembers me as a teacher in Bandarawela M.V. He has now assured me that there is no need for guys like me to read Marx, and is happy to hear that I’m committed to supporting the NPP.

        • 2
          0

          Sinhala Man, call me pessimistic. I never felt this way other than for my country of birth.

  • 5
    0

    The beggar family from Hambantota has ruined this nation. This is why you never allow a rodent in your home.

  • 1
    0

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  • 2
    0

    Our People are ignorant of the ramifications of global affairs. During WW11 they lived under British protection happily busying themselves following the hatred dished out towards the British by the likes of the Anagarika etc. They have no sense of civic duty and behaviour. Pushing to get to the head of the que etc. When it comes to politics they love to vote for the most brutish uneducated crook because they see in him their own way of thinking. Track record of murder does not seem to register. R Premadasa Armed the LTTE loosing a golden opportunity to end the war using Indian troops who had brought the LTTE to its knees. He murdered Lalith Athulathmudali, Richard De Zoysa, Sargent Nallathambi etc. Brutally massacred the youth during the Second JVP uprising some who were totally innocent. Yet his son goes about praising his Piyano. Why? Because he knows the electorate. To them non of the above matters. Ditto to the Rajapakshes. The old elite and most of their decendants who were decent and honourable people ave left the country in disgust for this reason.

    • 0
      0

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    • 0
      0

      Lalith Athulathmudali was murdered by late Sirisena Cooray using contract killers, and not by Premadasa who was visibly angry about it. Dead body of Ranganathan was provided by Douglas Devananda whose agents arrested him few days before from a lodge in Kotahena for not paying up ransom. According to evidence security guard fired at the assailant who ran down Mugalan lane and disappeared. People could not find any dead body that night, but strangely a dead body was seen along the path taken by the assailant. JMO who did the post mortem had said that the post mortem changes in the dead body of Ranganathan does not tally with time of shooting and that the bullet recovered from the body of Ranganathan was not fired from the gun of the security guard.

  • 1
    0

    Vishvamitra: Kaputu Kak Kak kak

  • 2
    0

    [Rajapaksas to impose sanctions on Russia. Ha ha ha!]

    It is very likely and may even send the SL military to Ukraine. The FAMILY has lots of investments there. Where is that great nephew who used to bring Ukraine tourists to SL.

  • 0
    0

    “In order to do that each party, civil activists , and those who want to turn this country around must visit each household and explain to them the current political situation in SL.”
    This must be supplemented with contacting the religious leaders and priests who are supposed to have made house visits to advocate voting, during the last presidential and general elections. IF this was a fact, the very same thing will happen again unless the current political AND social situation is not explained and made to be comprehend by the religious leaders and priests first.

  • 2
    0

    The country slid back to reverse gear and poverty, instead of moving forward, as from the time of independence, every ruling party has adopted a racist supremacist policy of putting one lot of people and a certain religion above the others and brainwashed these people to think to rule and take everything from the others is their birthright. They have used historical fiction, myths, and concocted history to brainwash. They have been so successful that even western educated elite and professionals like doctors, scientists who are normally sane in other matters, many also living in the west believe in this majoritarian born to rule and the country only belongs to a certain ethnoreligious group. You can see that in the comments section. Politicians have been using this race/ethnicity religious card and cynically exploiting this for their benefit greed and to come to power. Some cynically exploiting but many also actually believe in this myth and lies. The current batch is the worst. The country is going to the dogs, no power, no essential food, cost of living is rising. however, still the marginalization of the Thamizh and grabbing their lands in the north and east, especially in the east. using armed forces, the forestry, archeological, and other government departments still goes on and has become worse.

    • 2
      0

      They may have lost on the economic front but on the racist front that they were largely voted on they are very successful, as this is what matters to these so-called chosen people. The successful marginalization of the Thamizh and loss of their lands.
      The result of going backward economically and becoming morally bankrupt and human rights thrown out the window does not matter, to them.

  • 3
    0

    This is a country run by Kaputas. So you cant expect anything.

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