1 March, 2024


Story Telling & Bowel Movements

By Sarath de Alwis

Sarath de Alwis

Dr. Dayan Jayatillake has accused me of a shoddy, shabby hatchet job in defending Mangla Samaraweera’s budget . To make his point, he resorts to nauseous and obscene deceit. I do not mind the adjectives of Shabby and Shoddy. Those who read our exchanges will decide. I don’t do hatchet jobs.

Dr. D.J is free with his opinions. “First off, Sarath is intellectually dishonest in implying that I am opposed to globalisation. Nothing I have ever written or said can support that charge. In fact, I repeatedly stated the opposite.” 

Let me remind him of his precise words. “Mangala Samaraweera has ruptured with this national consensus, has gone against the national grain and the Great Tradition of Sri Lankan developmentalism.” 

What is Sri Lankan developmentalism? Gam Udawa carnivals where grass lawns were laid overnight for the naked Emperor to show his new clothes?

Dr. Dayan in his shameless shifty reasoning, tears off some vital pages of his own life story. To beat Mangala he praises JRJ’s Globalization. 

He has discovered virtues of a man he maligned mercilessly. He says “Sri Lanka certainly needed to liberalise and globalise, and that is what we did under J.R. Jayewardene’s leadership, Ronnie de Mel’s strategising and management, supported by Lalith Athulathmudali and Gamini Dissanayake’s dynamism and Premadasa’s synthesis of ‘growth with equity’.

Dr. Jayatilleka, unlike you, I will not be free with opinions. I will not accuse you of being intellectually dishonest. What I can honestly assert is that you are plainly unembarrassed by your past pronouncements. Your own Statements made disguised as intellectual leaps in to lofty depths of manufactured wisdom.

This is what you wrote about Pulsara Liyanage’s hauntingly and ferociously beautiful story which she calls ‘Holding Out’. It is not really holding out, but an unfastening of a painful past.

Your song, Dr. Jayatilleka then had different lyrics. Remember you are talking about JRJ, Lalith Athulalathmudalii Gamini Dissanayake and R. Premadas.

“What was wrong was the ideology, the model and an arrogantly authoritarian style of governance marked by coercive violence. From the perspective of contemporary history, those ten years mark the attempt of a Westernized ruling elite to arrogantly force through a capitalist modernization from above by imitating and imposing an authoritarian model drawn from East Asia during the Cold War.”

So, Dr. Jayatilleka, I must confess my absolute incompetence to counter your wishy washy intellectual obscenities. Your “globalized Sri Lankan exceptionalism” whatever that means, escapes my comprehension.

You accuse me of making snide remarks about President Premadasa. I said that City Councilor Premadasa got a middle class land allotment of some 40 acres in Mahawa which he nursed with meticulous care.

A reasonable aspiration of a man born in to a lower middle class family in St. Sebastian hills. He never engaged in a business or practiced a profession other than politics. So, I challenged you to explain as the curator of his memory to explain the substantial boodle his estate held. If it is snide, my apologies. But there it is.    

The illustrious career of Dr.Godfrey Gunantilake and the unequivocal Marxist credentials of Sumanasiri Liyanage have been unnecessarily drawn in to this debate. If they offer you crutches to limp over your own deceit, I wish you Godspeed.

It is true that, neoliberals seek to liberate markets to accelerate economic growth. They see globalisation as the dominant paradigm in this age. There is another faction that see neoliberalism as a cruel process of bulldozing cultures and the not so equipped people in the global south.

But sensible minds avoid the two extremes and recognise the dialectical nature of the phenomenon we call globalisation. When I endorse Mangala’s budget proposals I do so honestly recognising that globalisation profoundly influences the social, political and economic spheres.

Since I have six grandchildren who with their dexterous thumbs fascinate me no end convincing me  that the world is their oyster, I know that efforts to delay or derail the process is futile.  I am not paid for these opinions.

I will now tell you why Mangala Samaraweera has earned my admiration and my respect. He is the one leader in the present firmament who is sincerely and irrevocably committed to the defence of the democratic state.

In the present dynamics between the local and global, the nation state is pivotal to uphold the principles of representation and participation in the democratic state which were trampled by both Mahinda Rajapaksa and R. Premadasa the deities you once worshipped and Gota your new deity trampled with an utter disdain for human dignity.

What Mangala seeks to do with this budget is to create a conducive environment for export driven economic growth. It is selective deregulation to enhance international integration.

Globalisation is not a new discovery. Marx deals with it in the first chapter of the Communist Manifesto.

“The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilization.

The cheap prices of its commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the barbarians’ intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilization into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image.”

As an argumentative strategy you narrate stories. D.S. picked Dr. Godfrey Gunatilke. Premadasa said that land was the patrimony of the people, when someone yawned about land etc. 

When you tell stories, you must remember one universally applicable principle about story telling. The analogy about storytelling, that I am citing  is not exactly original. It is reframed to suit the context. That said, thank you for reminding me of it.

A good story is like a good bowel movement. Real satisfaction is when the story ends. If instead, you keep on going you run out of shit.

You move in to pushing and pushing. Your sphincter gets hurt. At the end of it all you are left with the little poo you managed and an enormously foul smell.   

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Latest comments

  • 15

    Sarath, you very well described this phony theoretician who used to sit in a table behind then PM Premadasa PS Mr. Felix Balasuriya, he denied knowing him in a reply to one of my remarks. A man who says he did Political history at the University now trying to discuss about open economy. In a country where Rajapaksa corruption has overtaken the economic growth, what FM Mangala has proposed is beyond this phony theoretisn to understand. This man is trying to save Premadasa as he saved him from a lengthy prison sentence for his action with some Nothern CM and the relationship his father had with Premadasa. Don’t worry always dogs get upset when they see the full moon.

    • 11

      Sarath de Alwis

      The public racist war monger is an attention seeking name dropping child with a PhD. He cannot live a peaceful life but supports the most violent people of this island, Premadasa, Dr Mahinda and now former national hangman Dr Gota.
      This man has never been honest nor intellectually honest.
      Now he has reached a stage where he cannot remember what he said in his previous typing.
      He does not understand what he types. He types what he does not understand. He believes he could stay in the lime light without being productively contributing to the debate/discussion about the future direction of this island.

      The debate/discussion/consultation, knowledge sharing …… should be about the future generations and not about the the failed pseudo yet failed graying revolutionaries.

      We should make a collective decision to starve him of oxygen of publicity.

    • 4

      Mr. Alwis,
      I don’t know whether this is significant, but the Pulsara Liyanage you mention was once Dr. DJ’s wife.

    • 4

      Mr. Alwis,
      You are right in admiring Mangala Samaraweera and his budget. It is true that Mangala has stood by his basic principles from Sudu Nelum to Telecom privatization, unlike some of his former comrades like G.L. Pieris. But whether he is totally committed to press freedom is doubtful.

  • 8

    Well written and well argued-out.

    “I have six grandchildren who with their dexterous thumbs fascinate me no end convincing me that the world is their oyster, I know that efforts to delay or derail the process is futile.”

    How true!

    Now any place in the world is not so far or remote ………… only a few clicks and presses away.

    My grandfather used to tell a story ……. in those days …… a man who came back from Oxford with a law-degree was brought home on an elephant in a massive parade ……. as if Neil Armstrong returning from the moon! Such were the times ……… Oxford and England was so far away for Lankans.

  • 3

    Hello Sarath de Alwis, You didn’t have to prove that you could slam-dunk DJ’s fulmination, at will. However, descending to shoddy analogies to construct your arguments – even against DJ – leaves the same foul smell.

  • 10

    Sarath I agree some people need to be told facts the way they could possibly get it, but then again DJ has a very thick skin and a skull which is a hall mark of a political destitute/prostitute

  • 0

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  • 1

    Sarath de Alwis,

    Behind your intellectual pretence- liberally citing foreign thinkers and the philosophically- minded, you seem to hide a mental constipation. Hence your resort to crudities such as bowel movements and the like. That denotes the real man.
    Dingiri Appu

  • 1

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  • 4

    Go easy on our DJ – he is a case study all on his own. His life has been lived on variations. He can tailor his avowed principles to suit the exigencies of the moment. Imagine the burden of being the only son of the greatest ever Sri Lankan journalist our times. Ever since he followed pappa around, he has been tortured by the thought that whatever he did, he will never do better than his old man. To the restless crowds he addresses with fiery conviction, he will always be a ‘redda ussay mahath’thaya ‘. He knows they will never elect him (like they will never elect his erstwhile admirer Rajiva W.).

    But let DJ write; otherwise how will we know what we must avoid?

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