16 May, 2022

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Sustaining Democracy For Three More Years

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

Sun Tzu say: “Build your enemy a golden bridge to retreat” (Art of War). The Rajapaksa Regime and Government, that is the GR and the MR-BR faces of the political coin, are battered and bruised, cornered and desperate. The economy is dying, rats are jumping ship, dollar-coffers bleeding. “If they come here, they will go home in a box,” an Anuradhapura farmer declares on TV. But dying is not dead; a cornered animal still has claws, teeth and fangs. The regime and government control a state-military machine primed against the people, have 130+ Legislators on their leach and have saffron- cloaked fanatics on call. Sun Tzu would say ‘If you can get this horde to back-off, if you can anesthetize it for three years till the next election cycle, do it. It will then be possible to offer it a proper and orderly burial’.

I need predictable terminology so I will be pedantic about this administration. Regime (capital R) is the slice controlled by GR and his cohorts such as the military, Defence Ministry, fascistic deputy ministers and the elements of state administration at their command. The usual term in a democratic polity is deep-sate, but in the post-2019 presidential-election setting, Dark-State is more fitting. UNHRC High Commissioner Michael Bachelet said “It has incorporated military officials implicated in alleged war crimes into the highest levels of Government, reinforcing a narrative of impunity”. That’s a deep, dark state.

When on the other hand I say Government (big G) I refer to MR together with most of the Cabinet and a bunch of government-bench MPs fraying at the edges, so now mostly SLPP. When not capitalised – not R or G – I am indifferent. Did you know that the collective term for crows is “a parliament” and for baboons (or gibbons?) “a Congress”? Well, if not, it should be. To be fair when Patrick Jake O’Rourke wrote Parliament of Whores (1991) he was sneering at electorates which chastise supine penurious women but glorifies their upright Legislator customers.

To return to options for the next three year, I don’t promise anything re the aptitude or rectitude of the next government; that’s your job, you are the voters. But consider this; broadly there are three ways the chips can fall. This government may stutter, stumble, stall and stagger in its present avatar; that means economic ruin (you ain’t seen nothing yet) ending in social chaos. The second option is nationwide mass action. The third is to build that golden bridge and watch the world go by till the Election Commissioner pronounces Regime and Government dead and the citizens of Lanka get a democratic opportunity to muck things up again. To repeat, the first option is economic ruin, chaos and possibly an attempt at a putsch, the second a non-discernible at this time revolution. And third the life-boat option, power sharing, realignment and Cabinet reshuffle; Sun Tzu’s golden bridge for Regime and Government to flee over perhaps taking along some persons returning to California. A new take on GRoBR as school boys are won’t to say!

I first noticed the National Government story in LankaNewsWeb, but this site has compromised its credibility long ago. Then Ranil made a statement that he was NOT in talks with GR or MR to assume the PM-ship and not aware of 10 or 15 of Sajith’s mice waiting to jump off the SJB trawler and swim to hard-earned portfolios and deputy ministerships. Hmm me thinks, the gentleman protests too much. Now it’s all over the place; it has what adjective-deprived young people call, ‘gone viral’. We are now in a sombre third stage. India wants a broad-based government before it donates alms to Basil, Delhi has instructed the TNA to jump when the Hindu deity sounds his flute, and Washington has let it be known that Ranil has to have a prominent role to stabilise a free-market economy. I have no inside information but since everything quacks, it could be a duck. Giving rhythm to decibels of noisy cackle and static.

To give you a taste from electronic space, polite society, 3-wheeler stands and street corners, I quote some inputs to a lively e-chat. All profanity has been cleansed to forestall editorial apoplexy. Why do my blessed Editors decree that good English consists of words of three or less and five or more letters?

“Ok guys, Ranil becoming PM, restructuring, “National Government” (NG); unmitigated bullshit some say with unassailable logic. Folks on the ground agree “What Nonsense”. But the problem is that this is suspicion that this is not the full story. Hallucinating like Moses and the Prophets of old! But what proof did they have except prophetic intuition?

The bottom line is, something is going to happen, has to happen, and soon. An NG remains a possibility. Something has to give; this can’t go on; the dam will burst, not in years but now. The government is tottering, rats are jumping deck, India is in hot pursuit, the IMF will screw us, Modi wants a dip as well. The state has lost control of the streets; but for spineless Sajith and gutless JVP things will move faster. Champika cannot measure up to these tasks.

MR-GR-BR, SLPP, Douglas, the rats (Wimal, Sira, Gampanpila, VN and the awesome warriors in Defence) know that Godot has arrived, the sun has set, Armageddon has taken the new ball. Stop being lyrical you tell me (I (KD) am only on my second scotch); but I say the government has decided to declare its innings. Did someone plant this National Government story to get the new ball out? Idiotic mixed idiom! Ok I have to pour out my third and final scotch – then lunch”.

What if this NG option materialises? Shall we damn it or not? If it materialises, I agree that a Liberal Bourgeois-Democratic Transitional Government (LBDTG) is better than the current existential crisis if these were the only two alternatives available. Observe the penultimate T for Transitional as I do not foresee this ethnically, programmatically, and morally disparate menagerie putting itself forward as a Front in 2025-26. Its purpose is to serve as a life-boat to stave off efforts to derail democracy before then. It can also help keep the economy afloat by giving face to begging and borrowing. And it will end Gota and his Viyathmaga clowns’ hallucinating on shitty fertilisers and magically renewed electricity. Maybe when the government dances nude at the next UNHRC sessions (what a sexy dude GL was!) LBDTG can play a plaintive clarinet.

In respect of the second option; though spontaneous protests are breaking-out across the country it is not yet a wildfire, nationwide civil-disobedience or a generalised hartal. If the Regime experiments with military jilmart it will of course provoke a big backlash! Option 2 in a more radical form will be a new ballgame that has to be talked about at the right time if conditions swing that way; uncertainty is the soul of political instability. The mobilisation at the 15 March SJB rally was large, angry and at the same time good natured. Sajith may have outflanked LBDTG and stolen a march on the sleepy JVP and lacklustre Champika. The JVP student organisation announced that it will commence a protest campaign on Friday (after this piece is dispatched) in a pathetic belated attempt at playing catch-up. All round these are early days. Sajith-SJB is attempting to emerging as the principal liberal-democratic alternative, but it’s too early to say. Trends will surely accelerate during the next month.

Vasu in the meantime returns vehicles and residences but hangs on to his portfolio – why? Because the leeches around him, fattening from government contracts, petrol and vehicle allowances and factotum-salaries will skin him alive if he disrupts their earnings. The leeches need the cover of Amathithuma and misuse of the name of the ministerial institution to get on their bloodsucking. These vermin control the Central Committee of his party which adopted a resolution prohibiting him from surrendering his portfolio. How much more grotesque can avarice get? And this from a one-time firebrand. NM, Colvin, Dr Wicks, Peiter, Leslie, the entire old-left were angels in comparison.

The shopping list of planned imports under the Indian credit line includes sugar, rice, dhal, onions, potatoes and pharmaceuticals, as well as raw material for the garment industry, animal feed, tyres & tubes, aluminium, cement and fertiliser. If it works, we will have to forgo the sadistic pleasure of watching Regime and Government asphyxiating to slow and painful deaths. I am not a recent convert to compassion, but if the duo’s death agony is much prolonged, people and country will suffer anarchy and material hardship. LBDTG is preferable; I reluctantly rest my case.

The tricky part is that if the TNA is to participate in LBDTG or team up with Sajith, concessions will have to be offered to the Tamils. This will make the enterprise meaningful, more than just a rescue lifeboat. A saffron backlash will come and must be broken; throw all the blackguards who incite race-riots behind bars. The hard part is dealing with racism right inside the Regime – the Boss, the Forces, the defence establishment and fascist deputy ministers.

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Latest comments

  • 8
    0

    Both People and Leaders seem to have lost their senses yet today. In a civilized country, people would have gone and torn off the Rajapkshes and their kith and kin into pieces. Might be possible, MAIN stream media dont want to take the side of the public, – but further to stay covering and defending the criminals further.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSxaVrG5vs4
    .
    People over to you, ENOUGH is ENOUGH…. now it is time to grab the power back from the known high criminals – by hook or by crook.

  • 6
    0

    “The shopping list of planned imports under the Indian credit line includes sugar, rice, dhal, onions, potatoes and pharmaceuticals, as well as raw material for the garment industry, animal feed, tyres & tubes, aluminium, cement and fertiliser” It seems this is only enough to cover a couple of months of imports. After that what?
    Obviously, more than a few political concessions have been made too, but not yet talked about. Wait for the fake patriots like Weerawansa to expose details.
    Instead of this ignominious begging for scraps from Modi’s table, why not sign the CEPA straight away, even go for a currency union? That way, we wouldn’t need dollars to pay for imports. Is it the local oligarchs and medical unions who are opposed, because their pet “industries ” and fat private practice wouldn’t survive a week after CEPA?

    • 8
      0

      OC, though I am not a fan, I give credit to Modi, who not only gave a voice but strength in international arena. Modi not only managed to get all citizens out amidst war but made a deal to continue getting oil, now at a cheaper rate from Russia due to sanctions. Though US is aware, they have decided not to make it an issue, because of the support they need in UN. Whereas Lankans went all out with Wimal, Udaya, GMOA, prelates — resisting CEPA.

  • 4
    0

    Can China still bail out this government? If so your model will unravel.

    • 0
      3

      JM
      Even if it can, will it, unless some things change?
      *
      However, KD’s models are many. But most failed.

  • 11
    0

    Dear Prof. Kamar
    It’s an amusing proposition and in parts wishful thinking!
    The anticipated / proposed NG would have to accommodate over 100 cabinet/state ministerial posts according to your proposal
    Do you honesty believe this would bring about the required changes to take the country out of the rut??
    The naked truth is that nothing will be accomplished, except creating another power hungry mob whose prime purpose would be to grease their palms and their sidekicks

    • 2
      0

      Nope Dr RN, LBD Transitional Govt can’t take country out of the rut – who said it would? You may have missed my point. It’s about survival of democracy for 3 more years. Wish people would give more meticulous attention to what is said.

      Chiv: Yes they may turn their guns on the people; What we must do is make that possibility less likely – even preempt it.
      Panini, not in LA but locked down (for a few more days) in Hong Kong. Sigh!

  • 9
    1

    KD, I just have one question?? Will our war heroes turn their guns on starving angry public ??? Many of your’s are just repetition. Desperation is showing up.

  • 6
    0

    Three more years!
    Let Gota continues three more years with Ranil or without, but no national government.
    Let there be an opposition! That is to safeguard democracy!
    What is after three more years?
    Elections! and let it be an end to authoritarian government.
    Let democracy prevails thereafter!

  • 7
    1

    I look forward to a NG, & definitely, a LBDTG, preferably, under a honest man like Karu J, instead of RW (who has been lethargic all these years), would be a better option than socialist JVP in these times of austerity but whatever the options, a change from the current regime is necessary, & pronto.
    Hopefully, a NG would hold a Nuremberg style trial & hold entire despicable lot, MR-GR-BR, Slimy Sira, all the rats (Wimal, Sira, Gampanpila, VN etc), the cronies, from military bum suckers to leeches & parasites in the civil service, CB governor included, responsible for crimes against the country & its people. That day may not come but I live in hope.

  • 3
    0

    Very good analysis and proposition.

  • 2
    14

    “Michael Bachelet said “It has incorporated military officials implicated in alleged war crimes into the highest levels of Government, reinforcing a narrative of impunity”.

    For the past 12 years it has been ‘ALLEGED WAR CRIMES’ fabricated by Sooka on behalf of Tamil Diaspora and her pay masters.
    Guys who really committed war crimes and crimes against humanity by massacring hundreds of thousands of Sinhala Buddhist men, women, children, Buddhist monks and even fetus of Sinhala pregnant women using suicide bombers, claymore bombs, AK47s, chemical bombs, swords and machetes for three decades, grabbed children by force and recruited them as child soldiers, kept innocent civilians as a human shield and shot at those who tried to escape and seek help from the Sri Lanka Army are running around scot-free even in countries that bring war crimes charges against the Government of Sri Lanka and the Armed Forces who eliminated the terrorists branded as the deadliest terrorists in the world by FBI.

  • 2
    4

    My perception is that Ranil would not want to be PM for the simple reason that even if the West promises the moon, it will be like the West helping Ukraine. Can the west dump Billions of Dollars all at once in Sri Lanka for its citizens to get a breather? NO!. Ranil knows that. It would be different if JR Biden were to phone Ranil and say take it I will pump all the Billions. Even Biden’s hands are tied. Prof Kum laments that people will have to wait for some time until the elections are held for want of time. Does he imply that people must get to the street surround VIPs’ aboard and send them to the next world? The military here is too sharp to fend for themselves and not to be a part of a losing battle. OH! NO! Indian bureaucrats might think of a possible Chinese influence and send some “Invited” International Peace Keepers to maintain law and order. They would consider Sri Lankan women and even teenagers as means of pleasures of the flesh. Its wonderful news for Rajafukse bashers to see them crumbling down only to have foreigners exploiting our population.

    • 1
      0

      GS,
      Morning.
      Why on earth should RW take up PM’s job, when the voters have not given a mandate??
      That was given to GR at the behest of MR, who is the current PM, and manipulated by BR of the Pohottuwa.
      Even if he becomes PM he cannot take independent decisions, which would be over-ruled by the SLPP in parliament, with their steam roller majority given by 6.9 million voters!!
      Any donor would see this outcome through and through before parting valuable funds as grants, aid, loan or FI
      Every pessimist said the same thing about India and China as “all weather friend”!! What happened?
      They are not fools and gullible as SL voters to believe ‘some group’ who are emblematic of FAILURES!!!

  • 7
    0

    “……..And this from a one-time firebrand. NM, Colvin, Dr Wicks, Peiter, Leslie, the entire old-left were angels in comparison……..”
    KD, you are seriously mistaken, they were NEVER democrats!!!
    They were always unto their Marxism or Trotskyism or Fourth International or whatever!
    They pushed Sririmavo towards an autocratic regime in 1972 by introducing National State Assembly and Colvin made Buddhism the official religion of SL which even Senanayakas did not dare to do in their time since 1948!! We are still suffering from that myopic decision by Colvin!!
    The biggest hypocrites SL ever produced were the leaders of CP & LSSP.

    • 1
      10

      Jit,
      “We are still suffering from that myopic decision by Colvin!!”

      Talking rubbish!
      No one is suffering from the decision of Colvin to make Buddhism the official religion of Sinhale. Before colonial rulers came, Sinhale was a Buddhist country.

      • 5
        1

        Potta eye, you are so blind that you cant see beyond the tip of your nose. Look, what a socio economic mess Sri Lanka is today – all due to a bloody uneducated rogue family from madamukalana (central jungles) in the deep south who only knew how to preach Sinhala Buddhism as a race card to win elections. Look at India which is a secular state with no state religion! How prosperous it is with trillions of $$ in reserves!!

        • 7
          0

          Jit

          “Potta eye, you are so blind that you cant see beyond the tip of your nose. “

          Do you know why?
          HLD M is sitting on his head.

        • 2
          0

          No any other leaders / but singlehandedly MR should be made responsible for entire mess. It is no fair to attack all predecessors/ at least today media should take the side of public.
          .
          Mlechcha media is the biggest problem 🐃😎🐕🤥🤔😶😉😡🍬

      • 6
        1

        Eagle Very Stupid Eye

        “Before colonial rulers came, Sinhale was a Buddhist country.”

        Could you cite evidence.
        What is a Buddhist country?
        It is Buddhist country because members of the Saffron clad Pedophiles were/are allowed to abuse young novices (sāmaṇeras) without any hindrances.

        When you were a child did you enjoy attending Sunday school where the Viharathipathi took you into his inner sanctum and treated you with Kithul Hakuru?

      • 4
        1

        EE,
        Morning
        What a wonderful thought, living 1500 years ago in a village in SL, with a Temple, School, Hut and Village Tank irrigating your rice crop!!
        Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour!!
        So would they call it in the present day “Global Village” of Los Angeles in the State of California!!

      • 2
        0

        What is Sinhale? Lion Blood? A new term now coined during the Rajapakse era and increasingly used by Chingkalla Buddhist Fascists to describe the entire island and distort history to claim the entire island for the Chingkallams, that is never was. Large parts of it were Thamzih and Hindu. Before the European colonials arrived, only the southern, western, and central parts of the island were occupied by Chingkallams and were Buddhist. The North, East and the north-western coast called Demala Pattu even in Chingkallam was Thamizh and Saivite. As for Colvin R De Silva he openly acknowledged and admitted to his recent South Indian Thamizh origin of himself and his Chingkalla Salagama caste.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaffna_Kingdom
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanni_chieftaincies

        • 2
          0

          Please read. Most of the Vanni chiefdoms were Thamizh other than the ones bordering southern Chingkalla kingdoms.
          The northern Vanni chiefdoms including Trincomalee were paying tribute to the Thamizh kings of Jaffna and were part of the Thamizh Jaffna kingdom and even the eastern Batticaloa and Amparai Thamizh Vanni Chieftains were paying tribute to the king of Jaffna and only very much later came under the loose control of the Kandyan kingdom, after the fall of the Jaffna kingdom and the Portuguese takeover. The North-Western Thamizh Puttalam Vanni chiefdom that was paying tribute to the king of Jaffna and was part of the Thamizh Jaffna kingdom, called Demala Pattu became part of the Kotte/Kandy kingdoms only after the fall of the Jaffna kingdom. This is why even now when you go to Negombo, Chilaw, Puttalam areas you get a very strong feeling these areas were recently Thamizh. The place names, the people, everything about these areas reek of Thamizh, despite most of the population here now identifying themselves as Chingkallams but many still familiar with the Thamizh language.

  • 7
    0

    Kumar, you dear old man,
    .
    You are doing your best from Los Angeles. You may not realise why we are not acting more effectively in Lanka.
    .
    You have written: “The JVP student organisation announced that it will commence a protest campaign on Friday … in a pathetic belated attempt at playing catch-up.”
    .
    There are reasons. The NPP had an indoor meeting in Badulla on February 27th; I was not there. I was not told about it until about five days later. The JVP guy who should have told me

    • 4
      0

      I’m sorry that the comment above had to be left incomplete; actually cut off mid-sentence. The result of one of the unpredictable Power Cuts. Actual residents of Lanka will know what is meant.
      .
      The NPP just doesn’t have the grassroots organisation to do better than you now behold. Looking for scape-goats? I suggest that each of us starts with ourselves. Some of us (Kumar himself, for example) may feel that we have been doing all that was possible, but the task is too great, and each of us too weak.
      .
      I have the contact details of some of the key players in the NPP; I will have to write to them all – openly showing recipients, so that all ultimately get to see the explanations for my lapse. The local JVP guy has himself O.Ked that; he realises that the issues are too momentous for him to be hiding the responsibility that he must bear. There are reasons why he can’t shoulder all the responsibilities that some local person must bear; the load is greater now than when he was persuaded to take it on, and he has had unforeseen personal difficulties.
      .
      I’m sorry if this sounds a bit vague. I don’t want to shift all responsibility onto his frail shoulders. If we are more open, then we help the leadership to take corrective action.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela

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