24 September, 2020

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Sri Lanka’s Intensified History In Nine Months, 2014-2015

By S. Sivathasan

S. Sivathasan

S. Sivathasan

In a flash we have seen phenomenal changes within a span of nine months. From nominations for Presidential to Parliamentary elections in a week, events have moved with wholesome rapidity. Called silent or bloodless, glorious revolution or intensive evolution, it has inspired hope and purpose. Defeat and despair stand dispelled.

The national polity which had grown defiant together with a political leadership with its sense of power brought this turn around. A change in the making many would say in January 2010 itself. An election betrayed then, they may reaffirm. So be it. Will the fruits of January 2015 be lost facilely in August? Will there be zero tolerance to a vulgar usurpation? Never, is the rejoinder. Why?

The fruits are too precious to be frittered away. The people were heaving and gasping under a heavy dictatorship. It was becoming more brutal by the day. To the populace of every hue, ethnic, religious and political the regime had become insufferable. Those with governance in their hands, found allegiance of the governed slipping away. They took their inevitable refuge in ‘patriotism’. An ‘ism’ that portrayed glory in blood-letting among Tamils. It was an ‘ism’ viz Fascism that destroyed the Jews in Europe. It was such a relapse of Mahinda that infuriated Ven Sobitha Thero to work so adversely against him as of now.

Ranil From his twitterAfter demolishing Hindu icons, perhaps having no more temples to destroy, they forayed into burning Mosques. The persecuted minorities joined hands to remove the tyrant out of their way. Will they ever again brook his return? Never in their lives will they accommodate any of the Rajapaksas and the country knows it. Their henchmen stand next in line to be forcefully rejected. In this regard the benefits of January call for defense with an endorsement of UNF policies and programmes. Implicit in the stance is to bring forth the same formation in larger numbers. Herein lies an area of strength for Ranil to lead that formation and to be Prime Minister.

It is to the enviable credit of President Maithripala to have plucked out a dictatorship. People have experienced an air of freedom after a decade of tyranny. As great is the delivery of promises outlined prominently in the 100 Day Programme. Of material value making a significant difference to the quality of living was the drastic reduction in the cost of consumer food commodities and utilities. Coterminously salaries, wages and pensions have been substantially increased. Work of a decade was done in 4 months. The progressive changes have touched on every citizen to alleviate their burdens and to put greater purchasing power into their hands. Can even two convincing reasons be adduced for anyone to clamour for the earlier regime to return?

Mahinda regime had done remarkably great in delivering infrastructure. They were modern and futuristic too. Well developed human resources had to be available to make use of them. To follow should have been inflow of investment. A return of at least 5% of diaspora professionals could have been targeted. A revamping of the legal framework governing FDI was basic to attracting investment. So was modernization of administration with education playing its vital role. None of these happened. People were left to the frustrating talk that not much was derived from the costly expenditure.

What was the cost? Huge amounts year after year. They were met through borrowing. Public Debt ie Domestic Debt and Foreign Debt which stood at Rs 2.222 trillion in 2005, escalated to Rs 6.793 trillion in 2013. It was Rs 715 billion in 1996 during Chandrika’s time. Mattala Airport and Suriyawewa Cricket Stadium are just two instances of profligate borrowing. Utilization of physical infrastructure needs a different mindset, superior mental capacity and the channeling of multiple disciplines. Above all patent honesty in all financial dealings. UPFA has shown its poverty. It has none of them. The people have turned to the UNF. How decisive is the shift?

Forecast or predictions for the 17th will vary. Wishes too will be different. The writer ventures to say the following:

UNF (UNP + Constituents)    – 105

UPFA (SLFP + Constituents) –  75

TNA (UNF Leaning)               –  18

JVP (Line of It’s Own)            –  13

Others                                    –  14

The above is the position on August 18th.

On the first day of sitting, the governing party along with crossovers may stand on shifting sand of 155. A good number for a worthwhile Constituent Assembly.

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Latest comments

  • 14
    3

    Dr Sivathasan

    Thank you for answering my question!
    In the new govt, I plead with you, please get involved in whatever way you can to bring about good governance.

  • 5
    22

    I wish more young writers came forward instead of those with their sell-by-dates well passed. This author is a fan of Chandrika and Ranil and his no’s are more wishful thinking?
    I saw another set of numbers from Kusal Perera and another set predicting a hung parliament.

    My wish is that this author together with Dr.Rajasingham Narendran and Izeth, all oldies and belonging to another generation just would go away and leave the future to those it really belongs, us the young.
    You oldies have done enough damage, can’t you see where your ideas have led us ? Down into the volcano and into the lava. Go away please and let us save this country.

    • 13
      5

      RR

      What a pathetic plight you are in. You are unable to move forward you say unless the older generation makes way! What is holding you back is your idiocy, which you flaunt proudly.

      Can you write two sentences like Izeth Hussein?

      • 1
        3

        Why are you feeling itchy?
        What is it Trinco mulagathanni SS the poison in the well?

        • 1
          0

          [Edited out]

        • 2
          0

          Nasik:
          Where do you feel itchy?

    • 11
      3

      Robert.R the mentally retarded!

    • 11
      3

      Robert. R,

      Old is gold. The old have seen it all and have learned not lose hope and become cynical. The old have experienced joy, tragedy, triumph and sadness. They have learned to take things in their stride. They know the difference between gold and roll gold. They know more of the past, seen the present and are hence better at discerning what is good for the future. They are definitely not impetuous, bad mannered, foul mouthed and insulting. Without its wise old, Jaffna has become a desert. Our bodies may be ageing, but we are yet vigorous in body and mind. We are yet capable of learning and do not react emotionally to events unfolding around us.

      Wishing you will be like us, when you reach our age. It will come sooner than you expect!

      “Kaa Olayyay Paarthu Kurutholay sirithathaam!” (meaning that the ‘Young coconut frond laughed at the old frond ready to fall, without understanding that it will be ready to fall soon).

      You will learn to regret your words!

      Dr.RN

      • 9
        4

        Robert.R tried to keep MR in power in January 8th.
        Now this piece of shit Robert.R is wishing MR will come back.

        • 5
          7

          So anyone who disagrees with you is a MR supporter ha what logic, what an impressive logic.

      • 7
        1

        Robert.R,

        We he old have also seen the tragedy brought on the Tamil community by ill schooled, impetuous, unwise youth, who took to violence as a credo. They killed and scared off the wise older men who could have directed them otherwise. Their mediocrity permitted the society at large to become more mediocre than them. Even the Jaffna University was not spared.

        Dr.RN

    • 10
      3

      Robert-the-Retarded

      Besides the political aspect of Mr Sivathasan’s writing, I admire his command in English. Only a handful Sri Lankans could match his English.

      R-t-R, please grow up or go away.

      • 4
        7

        If you don’t like my comments then I suggest you don’t read/respond to them.
        I have every right to question these old people who have led us down the garden path to destruction.

        I am not using vulgar language to offend anyone, I am simply questioning this generation who simply think they know best which they don’t. Their ideas are outdated.

        Look at the leaders of the political parties. We Have Ranil close to 70, same with Maithripala and Mahinda. Sambandan is 80+.
        Who are these oldies who still want to lead us?

        It is the same with the author, Dr.Rajasingham Narendran and Izeth, all old outdated ideas we have already tried and failed in. Rehashing them again and again will not work.

        • 3
          3

          Isn’t the first sentence rather hilarious. Anybody who does agree with you has merely to give you a thumbs up. It is ONLY those who disagree who have to REPLY why they do so.

        • 3
          2

          RR,

          “Look at the leaders of the political parties.”

          If you look at the politicians and candidates you will find many more elderly than among the leaders. Mavai, Vigneswaran, John the police minister etc.

          They cannot all be senile can they? They may not have all the social media and other modern skills but long life experience compensates.

          Your time will come. Be patient.

        • 9
          4

          Hi Robert.R
          We like to know what type of mental illness you are suffering from. Your retardness appears to be unique, so we are curious.Please respond.

      • 1
        3

        Peace the Beast in love with a village DRO and that too a school teachers son.
        Your Goddess must be Chandrika too Aney appochi!

        What a soothsayers goofy!

  • 7
    1

    Mr.Sivathasan,

    Your prediction on the UNFF seats seems to be based on the worst case scenario. The situation is yet fluid though favouring the UNFF. The entry of MR into the contest, has had a chilling effect on people expressing their opinion openly. The ‘IF’ scenario centered on him, is a specter haunting the uncommitted. This will benefit the UNFF on August 17th.

    Most people like what has happened post Jan 8th, despite the many hiccups. I do not think they want a reversal. Many more will thus vote for the UNPFF than they did for Maithripala Sirisena. The Tajudeen case will prove to be a major trump card for the UNPFF. It reflects the worst aspects of the last government in terms even the ordinary man can understand.

    The voter turn out in the North and East may not be as high as at the presidential election. This may disadvantage the TNA to some extent. The TNA should do much more to enthuse their support base. I feel they should at least say that the vote for them, is also a vote for good governance at the center, as their strength in parliament will amplify their influence.

    The next week will crystalize the voting patterns.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • 2
    3

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 4
      1

      Editor, CT,

      100% irrelevant to the article, put up as a comment. A note prepared for a different occasion has been thrust here. This type of abuse should face zero tolerance from CT.

    • 4
      2

      Old Yarlppanathan aka Kottai Sivam,
      What are you trying to say?

  • 7
    1

    A realistic forecast of the results.

    Sengodan. M

  • 2
    1

    This election is about electing members of Paliament, not about electing a powerful President. If Maithiripala Srisena would have not made changes to the constitution (19th amendment) you wouldn’t see Mahinda in this election because his interest was only in the Power. Automatically, some other person inthe SLFP would have become Prime Minister and under reformed SLFP, there is a possibility to get more seats than that they are going to get. For example they would have reached Tamils & Muslims with some favourable policy change under Srisena’s leadership. His adament stand along with opportunistic political allies like Weerawanse and Gammanvilla had negative impact on SLFP.

  • 4
    4

    In fairness to Robert. R. ( an alternate view from his detractors ).

    As a little bugger in school, I recall Dr. Ananda Tissa de Alwis, on his last day in parliament saying ” To the younger generation, we have failed, we are leaving you a nation bleeding from all it’s seams, the nation’s future belongs to you etc etc.

    Then what did we do ? when the young have so inherited the beliefs of their fathers, their fathers fathers and their fathers, fathers, fathers; that the Tamils are the enemy. The Mahawamsa thought, the Elara-Dutugemunu story and that every Sinhalese wants to be a Dutugemunu and the easiest way of doing this is to hammer the nearest Tamil in the Ethnic Riots that smashed Tamils since independence. Then 1983 arrived and the Tamils started fighting back. They gave the Sinhalese a bloody nose, killed off their political leaders, led thousands of their best and brightest to migrate to other countries and let the Nation be ruled by rapists, murderers and drug dealers. How very smart, ne ?

    Just like the Australian Cricket team that whines, when they are sledged against in good measure, the Sinhalese community whined when they were dished out the same treatment, they dished out to the Tamils since independence. Violence.

    So, to the young, share with us your thoughts, how do we build a Nation for all, when the old farts around you, don’t want to build one. The old and the young must have their enemy. The Tamils, then the Muslims, then the Christians and then they will turn on themselves.

    Our Nations survival rests on fairness in how we treat each other.

    Or we reset to pre-colonial boundaries, three nations in one, Tamil, Sihala South and the Kandyan.

    So best wishes to the young. Over to you.

    Thanks for reading, mes amis.

    • 3
      1

      Vishwajit,

      It is not our generation that messed up. We inherited and paid the price for the mess. It was our grand parents and parents generation (1900- 1980s) and the generation after us (mid 1950s to the late 1970s), that messed up things. Those of us born in the mid 1940s up to the mid 1960s were kids, children, teenagers and young persons entering the fringes of public life, when the mess that was seeded earlier, was messed up further, amplified and bloodied. Our generation paid the heaviest price, followed by those born around the 1960s and after. I use the word generation rather loosely to make my point. Those born thereafter are yet paying the price for the mess they inherited. Ours was the sandwich generation caught between the mess created by our grandparental and parental generations and those who were born 10-15 years after us.

      Those of yet living from our age group or generation as I call it here, were born into a Sri Lanka that promised much and thereafter slowly became a nightmare. We have experienced what was, understood what could have been, suffered from what it became and are yet hopeful of what it could be within what remains of our lives. We are the only bridge that yet connects a past that held much promise and a future that could deliver that promise. We yet think that this future is within grasp, provided we act sensibly and wise. It however takes two to tango and we have to be a ready and a trained partner in what is likely to turn out to be an intricate and difficult dance. We may step on each others toes, but the dance must not stop.

      Dr.RN

      • 1
        6

        The bus is long gone, never to return.

        So convenient to be a sandwich, such a weird expression.

        • 8
          2

          Robert.R is a sick weirdo.
          Did Robert.R miss a bus or something?

      • 0
        0

        Thank you for your response Dr. RN.
        There is ” absolutely “, ” no hope ” that my Tamil Brothers and Sisters can live in peace in the Holy Land. They are fodder to politicians who use them to show how Sinhalese they are.
        So, this generation, fails too. As the past generations failed us.
        Then, we must all live in peace, no ?
        Always a pleasure reading you in the forum.
        V.

  • 2
    0

    “…. So was modernization of administration with education playing its vital role. None of these happened. People were left to the frustrating talk that not much was derived from the costly expenditure.”

    Lest we forget .-.-.-.-.
    HAMBANTOTA DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS – ” 22 Nos. and costs exceed Rs. 600 billion:
    Source Ms.N. Wijedasa .. Sunday Times 30-11-14:

    Fisheries Harbor upgrading (all figures are in million Rs.) 373
    International Exhibition & Convention centre, Siribopura 2000
    42 – Office administrative complex 2983
    Mahinda Rajapakse Stadium, Sooriyawewa 700
    Mattala Rajapakse International Airport (1) 27500
    Hambantota Port – Phase 1 47380
    Hambantota General Hospital 70000
    Solar Power Park (Korea/Japan Govts.) 1300
    Belliatta town & Irrigation tank rehabilitation 300
    Mattala access road flyover 3090
    Fuel hydrant system & aviation refueling terminal at MIRA 5100
    Bunkering facility & tank farm 9900
    Dry Zone Botanical garden (1) 500
    Mahinda Rajapakse National Tele-cinema park (1) 600 (+ 600 more)
    Siribopura Flyover at junction of H`tota-Werawila Road 2675
    TRC 8 Storey Business Centre 3500
    Hambantota Port (11) 106000
    Expressway between Hambantota & MIRA Airport 54000
    MIRA development project cost overrun & addtl.work 16000
    26.75 Matara-Belliatta Railway 36500
    H`tota International Hub development project 52.96 km 33200
    Matara-Hambantota Expressway extension 90 km 253000
    T o t a l: 676,601 billion SL Rupees”

  • 1
    0

    “To the populace of every hue, ethnic, religious and political the regime had become insufferable.”

    This is an untruth. It is an untruth because of the 5.8 million votes for MR.

    Without anything to say the opposite side has resorted to re-writing history.

    The present 100 day regime is very sufferable.

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