29 November, 2020

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The Chesterton Maniac: The Sri Lankan Patriot vs. The Sri Lankan Sage

By Romesh Hettiarachchi

Romesh Hettiarachchi

Romesh Hettiarachchi

Writing in 1908, the English communitarian and contrarian, G.K. Chesterton, defined the madman as one who sees too much of cause in everything, whose intellect was rarely delayed by things that go with good judgment, such as humor or charity. To Chesterton, the madman’s most sinister quality is a horrible clarity of detail, reading conspirational significance into every activity, connecting one thing after another in a map more elaborate than a maze.” While most assert the madman is one who has lost his reason, Chesterton concludes by arguing the mad man has lost everything except his reason.

The Sri Lankan Patriot: A Chesterton Maniac?

The characteristics of the Chesterton madman come to mind when reading recent writings by Dayan Jayatilleka. Engaging with Dayan is clearly fruitless; his quest for public affirmation is insatiable. Complicating matters is that the many circular arguments Dayan develops are difficult to respond to. When detractors deny the conspiracy, Chesterton posited that the conspiracy theorist would assert that denial of the conspiracy is evidence of the conspiracy i.e. “only conspirators would deny the conspiracy.” Similarly, in this instance, the failure of critics to take a public stand against the “Genocide Resolution” is perceived by Dayan as evidence that critics are attempting to “lull the majority of this country into a false sense of security.”

Dayan should rest assured: most Sri Lankans aren’t going to feel more secure simply because they read an article in the Colombo Telegraph. Most Sri Lankans are more intelligent than Dayan gives them credit for. That said, opinions can be held without writing publicly about it. One does not need to demonstrate they have a political opinion by treating every flight of political fantasy as something that ought to be published, using the Colombo Telegraph as their personal diary.

Simply because one has many opinions and expresses all these opinions publicly doesn’t make those opinions more or less true. it simply means he/she is a loudmouth.

The Sri Lankan Diaspora: A Second Layer in the Sri Lankan Reconciliation Process?

As Dayan’s recent writings ably demonstrate, local perceptions of the influence and opinions of the Sri Lankan/Tamil Diaspora Sri Lankan add a second layer of complexity in a Sri Lankan reconciliation process already fraught with complications. Dayan should rest assured the global experience suggests that effective “reconciliation” processes and solutions must be internally created and context-driven. Any diaspora assistance or involvement in the Sri Lankan reconciliation process will likely be secondary in nature. Or as Archbishop Tutu said in his preface to the United Nations Handbook of Reconciliation:

Reconciliation cannot be imposed from outside, nor can someone else’s map get us to our destination: it must be our own solution. This involves a very long and painful journey, addressing the pain and suffering of the victims, understanding the motivations of offenders, bringing together estranged communities, trying to find a path to justice, truth and, ultimately, peace. Faced with each new instance of violent conflict, new solutions must be devised that are appropriate to the particular context, history and culture in question.

Such complexities contribute to my deep reservations in publicly opining about the affairs of the Northern Province. I don’t speak Tamil and have spent nominal amounts of time in the region, immersed in communities that rightfully see me as a foreigner. Representing my uninformed opinion as one which is credible is hardly responsible – in the same way Tamil Diaspora critics who have never visited Sri Lanka are not acting responsibly by criticizing local community leaders. In this instance, I admit I have so much to learn and take much pleasure in learning from those more experienced and wiser than I, such as Radhika Coomaraswamy (link) and the University Teachers of Human Rights in Jaffna (link).

The Sri Lankan Sage vs. Dayan

Expressing reservations in commenting out of acknowledging what one does not know will hardly satisfy DJ’s quest for affirmation. Perhaps he should listen to the Sri Lankan Sage who outlines the duty of all Sri Lankans to fight for the “equality of citizenship for all citizens, irrespective of whether they happen to be members of ethnic, linguistic or religious majority or minority.” Perhaps Dayan would demonstrate, like the Sri Lankan Sage asked, the “wisdom, sagacity and generosity to build a united Sri Lanka which is not a synonym or disguise for the dominance of this or that community.” Dayan could alternatively recognize that the constituent peoples of Sri Lanka will continue to drift apart from each other if Sri Lanka is only another name for a Sinhala country or Sinhala rata or even more narrowly “Sinhala Bauddha Rata” (Sinhala Buddhist country).

Dayan should recognize the Sri Lankan Sage. After all the Sri Lankan Sage is simply an earlier incarnation of Dayan from his tome Long War Cold Peace (2013). Anticipating allegations statements are made out of context, read Dayan’s own words here: pg. 432-433. This incarnation of Dayan Jayatilleka continues by asserting:

  • The translation and transposition of a natural demographic and cultural preponderance into political and constitutional primacy, pre-eminence and hegemony departs from the principle of equality of citizenship, of equal rights and principle of merit. (pg 434-5)
  • Sri Lanka’s post war crisis is one of the inability, unwillingness or delay in making the transition from a Just War to a Just Peace (456-7)
  • Sinhala and Tamil nationalism have to be accommodated to build a Sri Lankan national identity and consciousness. Tamil nationalism can be contained only by a sufficiency of devolved power and resources. We must share power with one another so as to build a nation with and for us all (459)
  • Full implementation of the 13th amendment is an essential part of the minimum political programme (461)

Clearly written when Dayan’s intelligence was more acute, Long War, Cold Peace is notable for its recognition of the need for Sri Lankan identity to become “broadly inclusionary, based on equality and merit” if only to ensure the safety and security of Sri Lanka. In his guise as the Sri Lankan Sage, Dayan Jayatilleka acknowledges the Sri Lankan government of yesteryear could not reflect a Sri Lanka of the 21st century while it remained in the grip of a “closed minded cultural conservativism and traditionalism”. I echo Dayan’s remarks written two years ago: Sri Lanka can only fulfill its potential as a country and nation by “modernizing and democratizing Sri Lankan identity” through amongst other things, attracting and enlisting young Western educated Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims” (441 and 442).

Its always tragic to see those you respect rescind into shadows of their former selves. Nevertheless, while Dayan has proven to be unable to break free from the attraction of Sinhalese nationalism, its safe to say that the majority of the Western educated Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims, while looking for opportunities to give back to the communities they call their own, will not have anything to do with the toxic politics of the Sri Lankan Patriot.

*Romesh Hettiarachchi is a lawyer and mediator in Toronto, Canada. A former director of Sri Lankans Without Borders, Romesh can be reached @romesh_h.

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Latest comments

  • 12
    2

    For yet another Lankan such as I, lamenting the lack of good English writers among us compared to the large supply coming from nearby India in recent times, reading Romesh Hettiarachchi here is a pleasure.
    To read the emphasis he places on merit and liberalism rather than racial-religious restricted majoritarianism is one further example there are many amongst us courageous enough to dream of a future reconciled Sri Lankan Nation. This is indeed encouraging. May there be many more Romesh’s – of both genders – among Sri Lankans within and outside the island regularly taking part in these debates.

    R. Varathan

  • 9
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    Romesh,
    Keep up the good work.

  • 9
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    Well said Romesh, thank you. I have long since given up reading DJ’s trash but I do read the responses.

  • 10
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    ” A man who has lost everything but his reason”. A very accurate description of a madman. I have seen such men at Angoda. One man who was swinging a key chain in circular movements in an clockwise direction- not the normal- told me that the world goes one way he the opposite! There was logic and reason in his explanation, but he was at Angoda mental hospital, with the freedom to move around.

    I hope Dayan does not contest the contention in this essay with his now regular convoluted arguments, quotes and play with words. He has much to ponder about this essay. Let the real Dayan, try to standup!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 8
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      Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

      Dayan decided to hit the bottom when he first joined Premadasa as an adviser. He hasn’t recovered since, as he continues to aspire to being part of the Sinhala/Buddhists establishment, his precious personal goal is eluding from him.

      A frustrated man writes to frustrate others.

      About eight or so years ago Dayan had had a large fan club. Now he has a large hate club. Those many who applauded Dayan for his prolific typing thought I was the odd one out, for taking him to task.

      Now it appears that he is working very hard to replace the leadership of lunatic fringe. Someone has to assume the mantle, why not Dayan?

  • 1
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    Romesh,
    Thanks for the article. Now, we have figured out Dayan’s problem. But, I would have preferred if you had invested your valuable time on writing an article on how to solve the national problem in a practical way. That would be of more value to me as a Sri Lankan.

    • 7
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      Jazz

      “But, I would have preferred if you had invested your valuable time on writing an article on how to solve the national problem in a practical way.”

      The uncomplicated way to solve the national problem is to expatriate both stupid Tamils and stupid Sinhalese back to their country of origin, South/North India.

      • 1
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        He meant a practical solution Native. Neither the Sinhalese nor the Tamils have the requisite documents to return to India. But think of all the Sinhalese Karave. They will not have enough fish to catch there. Think of the Salagama. They will not have cinnamon to peel any more. These are the guys who are the most virulent Sinhala chauvinists. At least, the Kandyans know they were ruled by the Tamils. Let us accept the fact that like the Tamils, the Karaves, Salagams and sundry other Sinhalese are here on your island to stay. It is futile to find out who came first. They are both here. So, you natives have to tolerate us. and have to find an acceptable solution on that basis.

        • 3
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          20,000 year old human teeth have been discovered in Sri Lanka. Is there anyway to identified Rakshasha, Veddah, Sinhala or Tamil teeth? They lived long before Vijaya arrived in this island!

          Dr.RN

          • 4
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            Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

            Thanks for the information.

            Tamils, Dravidians, Aryans, Sinhalese, Sinhala/Buddhists, Hela, Ravanas, Champika, Kamalika, Nalin de Silva, Dayan, Iraththinavalli (after consulting with a few old codgers), Paranavitana (from grave), Bandu de Silva, ramona therese fernando, sachoo, Jimmy, ……. will be rushing to claim ownership of this human teeth.

        • 3
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          Ponkoh Sivakumaran

          “Neither the Sinhalese nor the Tamils have the requisite documents to return to India.”

          Please clarify how did more than 700,000 hard working people lost their citizenship overnight and became stateless? Some of them were forced to leave this island and went back to India and Pakistan.

          About 70,000 Muslims were ethnically cleansed from North.

          Don’t you think we could persuade India to accept their long lost relatives. One estimate of Bengali illegal immigrant to India since 1971 is more than 3 million. Another guesstimate is between 10 and 20 million.

          More than 450,000 illegal Indian immigrants live in the US.

          Therefore India will have no problem accepting and rehabilitating 21 Million from this island.

  • 3
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    When Romesh Hettiarachchi (RH) speaks of G.K. Chesterton, he is not speaking of a professional psychiatrist, psychologist, doctor or scientist. He is speaking of a communitarian and contrarian, or one that indulges in conspiracy theorist of pseudo-professionalism.

    Therefore, we can infer that DJ is a man of profound wisdom, and RH is using rhetoric to discredit him. DJ‘s intellectualism cannot settle too well on RH, and so RH resorts to Abusive Ad Hominem.

    As for all of us “loud-mouths,” – truly in real-life we are very soft-spoken. But when the clarion calls us out, our better intellect begs us to be-type the *Truth.*

    • 3
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      Just get real. DJ is full of contradictions. Have you noticed that the last two articles of his are more towards conciliatory than whipping up chauvinism.

      One thing you need to learn that when the Tamils stand up and asking for their rights that is democratic. They are not racists. I cannot wait for the likes of you to swallow the bitter pill when finally the TNA settled with GOSL. The Tamils will get their rights.

      • 2
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        Burning Issue,
        We WANT TNA settled with GOSL. But TNA doesn’t want to do that. They want to separate and form their own country in coalition with TN.

        Land issues and freeing of LTTE prisoners are just window dressing. What they want is their own hegemonic army, police force, economic, educational and tax structure in alliance with TN.

        • 3
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          ramona theresa fernando,

          I do not think that I can debate with one who is stuck on one point like a broken record. The concept of a separate state was forced onto the Tamils by the intransigent Sinhala leaders. Even after the 1977 general elections that was predicated on the Vaddukoddai Resolution as far as TULF was concerned, the then TULF leadership wanted to settle for a federal structure. This was clearly evident during the JRJ era. This was why VP assassinated the entire TULF leadership bar one Sivasithamparam, who escaped. So, it is unequivocal that the Tamil leadership bar VP never wanted separation but a viable political arrangement.

          You may argue that TNA was proxy to LTTE; I cannot blame you for that. However, no one could have politically functioned contrary to the viewpoint of the LTTE. This was the reality and the Tamil moderate leadership was basically surviving and surviving they did. As soon as the LTTE was defeated, they wasted no time in denouncing violence and stated unambiguously that, they will settle within a United Sri Lanka. This is on record and repeated many a time. The the real issue is that, no Sinhala leaders thus far, wanted to entertain any form solution for the Tamils. This is because, it is deemed as an electoral suicide as far as they are concerned. The state machinery over the years, have systematically programmed and inculcated the Sinhala people into believing that SL is their and their alone. All the others are invaders and are at the mercy of the Sinhala. Once such a doctrine has been inculcated in their psyche, it will be a near impossible to accommodate the minorities in equal terms. This is the reality.

          To prove my point, you, yourself made reference to Tamil nation belongs in Tamil Nadu and not in SL. This is my point! You are totally ignorant of the fact that the Tamils of Sri Lanka evolved in Sri Lanka. Our language and culture are unique to Sri Lanka; there was a sovereign Tamil state before the middle ages. In the year of 1838, as part of the Colebrook Commission reformation of the governing structure, 3 separate administrative structures were amalgamated into a single administration; thus Ceylon was born with English as the administrative language.

          Since 1948, the Sinhala majority disingenuously, unilaterally, bastardised the constitution to suit the whip and fancy of their own. There was no consultation nor was there any concurrence from the minority point of view. All the Tamils ever wanted was justice and fair play. The early democratic objections and demonstrations were ridiculed and jettisoned with contempt.

          I do not need to write all these as all what went afoot are on public domain. It is profoundly insulting to read your utterances deeming the Tamils as racists when it is conspicuous that, Racism is completely embodied within the Sri Lanka state and psyche of the people.

          Haven’t you noticed that how many timed DJ made reference to “Sinhala Nation”? In 1948, the British gave independence contingent on the 1948 Secular Constitution. At that time DS Senanayake made a solemn promise that the minorities of Ceylon will not be harmed by the majority Sinhala! What really happened was totally opposite. Please have some respect when you call the Tamils as racists in general in the future!

          • 0
            2

            Burning Issue,
            You are very sincere. Aside from the other racist Tamils who have screamed out racist rhetoric to me (actually we feel so sorry for them…..gosh, is it so painful to be Tamil?), – never had quite the same with any Sinhalese person, I would ask you to consider if what the Tamils are asking is viable. A carefully cultivated ancient heritage attempting to live on one land in seclusion and yet yearning for modern democratic capitalist structure will always result in decades of terrorism and suicide bombing- ALWAYS!

            But what you are looking for is Federalism and not Secession. You want your army, police force, economic, educational and tax structure to be of Tamil-hegemony. You cannot be functional without the alliance of another close nation. So, it will be either TN or the Sinhala Nation that you will have to latch yourself too. The odds are that you will prefer to latch onto TN. But let’s say the Gosl forms a political solution and you pay a tax percentage to Gosl, and your people are represented in parliament. Your people will be able to roam all over the island, and your place will be sacred ground. The Ranil- Gosl will even accept that. That’s exactly the way it was after independence. But this time round, you will not be chased away and killed. Only hitch is, the Sinhalese people- the majority of the Island, are going to be grossly disadvantaged yet again (they were disadvantaged the last time when you set up all over the island with Vellala banking system). Your Eealm state is going to do rapaciously better than the Sinhala state because of the inevitable TN connection. When one state does better than the other, it will eventually absorb the lesser state. That is elementary physics. To prevent such an occurrence will result in either war or resignation to nonentity and oblivion for the lesser side.

            I also ask you to consider that the difference between TN-Tamils and Lankan-Tamils is the same as the difference between Kandyan –Sinhalese and Galle-Sinhalese. So the potential for fraternity between “blood-brothers” is inevitable.

            The only way federalism to be functionable without the prospect of perpetual war, is for the secluded, ancient heritage to remain the same ancient structure within the United Lanka. Or become communist. Or another way is that the Sinhalese are allowed to roam all over Eelam in similar proportion. Or all Tamils are sent back to ancestral homeland (mixed ones like me can remain in the South- anyway the Eelamites won’t want the mixed ones). But you won’t do any of that, we know.

            So, everything is to be at a stalemate yet again. Tell us how Federalism can work without the imbalance. Maybe it can work if a formula is devised for it to be fair for all, and a consensus is reached (plus an island-wide referendum- Tamils will stand a 50/50 chance considering the last elections).

            • 1
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              ramona therese farnando,

              “Aside from the other racist Tamils who have screamed out racist rhetoric to me (actually we feel so sorry for them…..gosh, is it so painful to be Tamil?), – never had quite the same with any Sinhalese person, I would ask you to consider if what the Tamils are asking is viable.”

              Racist people exist in every society that includes the Sinhala community as well! Of course it is “so painful to be a Tamil” in Sri Lanka. I suggest you pretend to be one for a month and see what it feels like! You cannot view the Tamil issues from your prism of being a Sinhala Buddhist; you need to apply “lateral thinking” if need be to comprehend the complex race-relations and governance post-independence of the Ceylon and the Sri Lanka subsequently. You cannot simply label a community that want to asset their language and culture just the same way the Sinhala Buddhist, as racists. The concept of “Lateral Thinking” in this context would be to see how best to accommodate the Tamil community within the Nation-state. Do you think that the Sinhala leaders fashioned any revolutionary ideas to this effect? Just compare the 1948 Secular constitution with what we have now? Do you see any room or conciliation given to the Tamil speaking people? You may say that the Tamil language is one of the official languages. Can this argument stand up given that the Tamil language provision is only on paper?

              Of course you have no problem with the Sinhala; they have not given you any issues at all. This is because you are one of them; you have been fully assimilated with all the bows to go with it! This is exactly what they want the Tamils to do; assimilate or get out. This is the message implicitly on the cards. I take it that you are intelligent enough to see what I have just said!

              “A carefully cultivated ancient heritage attempting to live on one land in seclusion and yet yearning for modern democratic capitalist structure will always result in decades of terrorism and suicide bombing- ALWAYS!”

              Let me make this clear, I for one regard the act of suicide bombing is complexly abhorrent and inhumane. If you were to view what the LTTE did in terms of violence in isolation, you will not comprehend the entire picture. You need to read the writings of Late T. Sabaretnam, a former Lake House editor and respected columnist. He chronicled every event that took place since 1974; all killings and massacres committed by both sides in graphic details. The chronicle is titled “Prabhkaran”. If you have time and enthusiasm to read and comprehend all what went on over the years, you will be wiser and well informed to comprehend the issues somewhat objectively!

              “But what you are looking for is Federalism and not Secession. You want your army, police force, economic, educational and tax structure to be of Tamil-hegemony.”

              The above statement of yours is indicative of the Sinhala collective psyche! You are simply echoing what is being used as an excuse to reject genuine Tamil aspirations that is totally democratic and just. What transpires is that, the Sinhala do not want to give anything because the Sinhala are Master-Race and own the entire SL. This is exactly what you have confirmed to, naively!

              Did you read the speech that the CM Wigneswaren made when the President MS visited Jaffna? CM addressed the president as Our President with enthusiasm. He also emphasised the need to promote trilingualism throughout the country. He said that the Tamils people constitute a nation and it should be acknowledged and respected. Where do you see secessionism anywhere? All I can see is the fear of secessionism from the Sinhala chauvinists. The Tamils do not want separation; they want recognition that they constitute a Nation in terms of distinct language, culture and demography. This is totally democratic and congruous international norms. With the policy of Trilingulism, there is no need to be Tamil or Sinhala hegemonic; people can move and settle as they please.

              • 0
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                Burning Issue,

                What I meant when I say “…..gosh, is it so painful to be Tamil?” is that Tamils, having carefully cultivated high intellect and tenacity to work for the community aspirations (sans living in larger society), cannot get their act together and compromise with the larger community. They live in a painfully fixated and angry mode with the tendency to throw bombs or spew racial filth! Most Tamils are of course a cultured crowd. However, the potentiality for mis-fitism is greater amongst the Tamils than any other race I have encountered (just read some of the comments from Tamil persons, and also from Kumar David, when he too refers to coastal fishermen and says “Phew.” Similar kinds of things are done outside of CT….and you are complaining about DJ speaking about the Sinhala Nation).

                If I pretended to be a Tamil for one for a month, I would be living in a highly disturbed environment. Indeed, for a long time living in SE. Asia, we really thought we were part of the Tamil community (as the Tamils were the predominant expat community). But the difference was made explicit to us. (pardon the “diary” mode, but at times it is a good way to get to the truth).

                No, Tamils don’t want to assert their language and culture towards the wider community. They want to keep it to themselves and revel and frolic in it all by themselves. Any suggestion from others that they learn Sinhala language and culture is seen as a grave insult and revulsion. Tamils, after independence had the whole of the North and parts of the East to themselves. Sinhalese were not thinking of colonizing the place at all. But Tamils came all over the country in Gringotts-style and lived on-ground with hardly any awareness of the other struggling race. That lack of awareness and concern shows a very grave indifference towards other races.

                No, I am not one of the Sinhalese. When I lived in Sri Lanka as a child and young person, we were a Catholic minority (again, pardon the Diary-style). My parents or I never found any discrimination from the Sinhalese people. We left Sri Lanka because there was poverty all around us, and job opportunities were scarce. We never thought of blaming Sinhalese, but used to pray and make wishes for their prosperity and the country’s prosperity. In the US, becoming a Buddhist doesn’t assimilate me into the Sinhala community at all. I am still regarded as a Lanka minority who speak little Sinhala, and there is some scratching of heads and pulling of ears in embarrassment, but that’s as far as it goes. If I was in Sri Lanka, however, I would have melted in with the crowd. Maybe I could have belonged to a group of minority-Buddhists.

                There is talk of assimilation now, but that is a proposal to include Tamils in with the Sinhalese so that they will feel included, and not be terrorists anymore. Previously, Tamil was the main language and culture of the North, and parts of the East (and it still is). All that was asked was for Tamils to learn some Sinhalese when they came all over the country. And when in the capital city, give precedence to Sinhalese as it is the language of the majority. But NO! You wanted Tamil, for some reason to be the main language in Colombo. You can’t bear e.g. to see berra-drummers opening parliament, and would prefer Brathayam instead (although that is done also).

                OK, one or two Buddhist priests threw bombs. After the Gringotts deal, Sinhalese started panicking. Sinhalese set upon the Tamils most cruelly. After a while, island-wide banking systems established. Sinhalese had means to getting loans and grants to secure themselves. Everything in on par now in the South with both races. What happened between Sinhalese and Tamils till the 1980’s was gross provocation by Tamils that ended in violent acts by Sinhalese.

                Actually, it is you that confirms naively the Tamil mindset when you say ,” What transpires is that, the Sinhala do not want to give anything because the Sinhala are Master-Race and own the entire SL.” What the Sinhalese are telling you is, “Have the North and East all you want, but when you come South, learn some Sinhalese. “

                They are also saying, “sorry for attacking your people time and time again, but we were mentally deranged at those times with your aversion in letting us in with your monetary deals, and we felt truly marginalized and disadvantaged when you were minting money out of thin air while we were suffering. Now with our banking systems, our commercial systems and our educational systems established, we are not adverse towards you anymore. Please forgive us and don’t diminish our want and need to, live within our culture and aspirations for all of our country’s communities.”

                Wigneswaren said much more that what you say. Tamils have always had trilingualism, Tamil Culture, and Tamil Demography in the N&E and beyond. What he ALSO said was that the N&E must develop accordingly with India, and Tamils must be able to do what they want on their lands (on top of being all over Sri Lanka), so the Tamil higher aspiration with India can be realized. So, the Sinhala alarm bells go off yet again. And then they are called Sinhala Chauvinists.

                In the end, the ordinary Tamils (Tamil masses)would prefer to integrate with the Sinhala community. For the egalitarian subsistence the Sinhalese community is far easier to live by, than the Tamil Vellhala chain-of-command.

        • 0
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          ramona theresa Fernando,

          I am completely flabbergasted by your sheer ignorance; I am very sorry to say!

          “You cannot be functional without the alliance of another close nation. So, it will be either TN or the Sinhala Nation that you will have to latch yourself too. The odds are that you will prefer to latch onto TN.”

          India is a sovereign state same as Sri Lanka. If the Tamils of Sri Lanka want to annex with Tamil Nadu means India needs to forcefully act in total violation of the international law. Is this what you understand? Where did you see, read, or comprehend in terms of Tamils of Sri Lanka want to latch onto TN? How can this be possible? PM Modi visited SL and delivered a speech; did you listen or read about it? What did he say? Please you need to possess some semblance of intelligence to talk about these issues on public forums; all I see is sheer ignorance from you!

          “But let’s say the Gosl forms a political solution and you pay a tax percentage to Gosl, and your people are represented in parliament. Your people will be able to roam all over the island, and your place will be sacred ground. The Ranil- Gosl will even accept that. That’s exactly the way it was after independence. But this time round, you will not be chased away and killed. Only hitch is, the Sinhalese people- the majority of the Island, are going to be grossly disadvantaged yet again (they were disadvantaged the last time when you set up all over the island with Vellala banking system).”

          Ramona, are you feeling alright? What sort of nonsense is this? “Vellala banking system” what the heck is this? What you exhibit is total paranoia that has been instilled into the psyche of the Sinhala Buddhists by the Racist Sinhala intellectuals. Can you please tell this forum as to where did you get the idea of “Vellala banking system”? This is the first time I have heard of this nonsense!

          “Your Eealm state is going to do rapaciously better than the Sinhala state because of the inevitable TN connection. When one state does better than the other, it will eventually absorb the lesser state.”

          Wow, what ignorance! There is no Eelam state. Eelam means Sri Lanka in Tamil! The Tamils are hardworking and industrious and it is obvious that autonomy will benefit the Tamils. If the Tamils region were to be prosperous, it will obviously attract business and people that include the Sinhala too! With the trilingual policy, the Sinhala can live and work within the Tamil areas. Why do you see this negatively? I do not want to bother with the rest of the nonsense you have written! You live in the US and you are totally ignorant to the concept of liberty within a federal structure!

          • 0
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            Burning Issue,
            To answer you assertions:

            This is what Wigneswaren said to Modi : “Needless to say the relationship between our two Countries is quite long and ancient. The Bridge of Rama connects our two Countries close to where you Sir, had unveiled a Plaque today inaugurating the Talaimannar Pier Railway Station. It is the desire of our citizens that close collaboration continue between our peoples in the field of trade, commerce, business, Information Technology and other Technologies, education, sport, culture and many other fields.” Now that is a loud Alarm Bell to the Sinhalese.

            Vellala Banking system: Gold abounding in Gold. Plentiful of Gold which Tamils to give as collateral to private banks and other cartels. The Jaffna culture was one of hoarding gold and other precious metals. Jaffna culture was one of thrift and tight monetary control, as opposed to Sinhala egalitarian Laissez-faire system. So therefore, when business and commerce needed to be done, there was plenty to roll around with, and plenty of low-paid, low-caste workers to make Tamil enterprise very successful indeed. When Sinhalese tried to copy the Tamil system, insurgency erupted. Nowadays, governmental and legalized banks make currency fairer for everyone. Also, a greater system of taxation is in place.

            Eelam started in the N&E, with the hope of overtaking the complacent south. But the South has not been that complacent.

            Tamil areas can’t be prosperous unless they have an alliance with a bigger entity- it will be either Lanka’s South or TN. Trilingual policy is already in place. N&E with Sinhala people included is what is wanted and what I said before: “Or another way for Federalism is that the Sinhalese are allowed to roam all over Eelam (N&E) in similar proportion (as the Tamils are doing in the South).”

            In US’s federal system, each and every state is English speaking with White Americans representing most aspects of government.

  • 5
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    Bravo Romesh!

    You are spot on in saying that the majority of Sri Lankans, including the Diaspora, don’t subscribe to Dayan’s racist rhetoric. Such rhetoric under the guise of patriotism erodes Dayan’s credence, and further isolates him from objective political discourse needed to promote national reconciliation.

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    ramona therese fernando

    “Therefore, we can infer that DJ is a man of profound wisdom,”

    The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

    – Socrates

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      Native,

      This woman is absolutely waste of time. She is one of those ardent Buddhist chauvinist converted from catholism!

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        Burning Issue

        “This woman is absolutely waste of time. She is one of those ardent Buddhist chauvinist converted from catholism!”

        She believes Aryan Sinhala/Buddhists are a master race.

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          Native Vedda,
          You know this is not true. So why tell lies?

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            Burning Issue

            Please read the the following typing and other comments by her where she clearly says Sinhala Buddhists are the master race:

            ramona therese fernando
            July 11, 2014 at 4:52

            It is a fundamental and universal principle for the majority people to be master-race (sorry that you were over-taken 2,500 years ago, NV)! It is true for every country in the world, including the countries of the New World. However, if SB’s can’t get their act together, Lanka will be the disgrace it has been since 1948. Therefore like USA, it is advisable for Sri Lanka to get a minority person to balance out things. ps. don’t overexcite yourself with paranoia NV.

            Every Sri Lankan Should Be A Jihadi
            10 July 2014

            ramona therese fernando
            July 11, 2014 at 7:29 pm

            This master-race(as all master-races are), is only master in numbers. It is therefore justifiable and legal for their rights to be upheld first and foremost. No romantic delusions for me about them…..if so, I would be praising their intellect and upholding BBS et al.I am a Pragmatist! It is especially painful to see the imbalances this master-race has to endure. No fault of the minorities, of course; fault lies with the master-race’s stupid governing bodies. But the present Gosl is becoming more aware, it is hoped

            Every Sri Lankan Should Be A Jihadi
            10 July 2014

            ramona therese fernando
            July 11, 2014 at 3:10

            Very troubling indeed to read. Ok I agree that most of the Arab money is only for religious purposes, and it is unfair to say that the hard-working Muslims got their money from this pool. Probably they got it from Gosl itself, in the Gosl’s bid for entrepreneurship, But still, there has to be some affinity with the average SB, surely. 80% of Sinhalese and 70% SB’s certainly should have “Bumiputra-ship”. See Malaysia- good people; not racist at all. All their government said was Malays are Muslims and Bumiputras (the first and foremost race, with specific laws in place to uphold this phenomenon)! There was hardly and dissension- indeed none at all. We need to get Mahathir to solve our problems (forget about South Africa). In fact, it will be a very good thing if a Lankan Muslim himself, who understand the interactions of communities, and cares for the Sinhalese majority (and is clever, unlike our Sinhalese mutts), to come up with a good pattern.

            Every Sri Lankan Should Be A Jihadi
            10 July 2014

            ramona therese fernando
            July 15, 2014 at 9:34 pm

            Native Vedda, You must be interacting with 0.00001% of the Master-Race. I am in deep awareness of the 99.99999% of the master-Race. Indeed even with my Tamil racial-mixture, I can still proclaim the *Truth* that Lanka belongs to the Master-Race aka the Sinhala Race!

            Political And Religious Extremism Threatens Peace And Harmony In Sri Lanka

            15 July 2014

            Excerpt:

            ramona therese fernando
            July 15, 2014 at 7:14 pm

            Therefore when compromising with religions and heritages, prominence must be given to the Master-Race of over 70% of the population.

            Political And Religious Extremism Threatens Peace And Harmony In Sri Lanka

            15 July 2014

            ramona therese fernando
            August 8, 2014 at 10:08 pm

            Spring Koha , Not at all. I can give a more objective analysis from where I am. I do really love and care for Sri Lanka, and especially the Lion-Race, and wish her to succeed. However, to be fair : Considering the mindset of the average Sinhala person even in 2009(based on the Aanagaraka rhetoric), it is not improbable that one or two stray rockets would have rained down on poor Thamils. But! In the international sphere of things and considering what is happening in Gaza, the Anagarika rockets thus become a moot point (and it will be difficult to prove). However! In the light of BBS still operating around and being racial towards Muslims (on top of the religious intolerance……“Thamils of Hindu extraction we might accept, but Islamic Thamils, now that is a no, no,” says the BBS), and on top of it, it is the Norwegians (Gosl’s old enemies), who are sponsors of this terror group, there then there could be some proof of Gosl indulging in the Anagarika rockets. (Of course we all wouldn’t want Lankan Muslims to ever succumb to the joys of the global Islamic-revival).

            Tears Of A War Victim And The Cruelty Of Sri Lankan Forces
            7 August 2014

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              Native,

              Thanks; what a woman!

              I think I remember her now from Groundviews days years back! Master-Race hah!

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              Native Vedda, Native Vedda, Native Vedda,
              Sigh………you lack lateral thinking skills, don’t you. Either that or you are equivocating in the absence in good argument.

              I will try and teach you the skill of lateral thinking:

              The July 11, 2014 at 4:52 comment was in reply to your comments where you spoke of being the master-race as the indigenous Vedda. So, I was explaining that there is another race who took over from you and is now “master” in numbers.

              July 11, 2014 at 7:29 pm : Again it was about Sinhalese being the far greater numbers, and so you can’t be sitting on your bee-hives and calling your indigenous culture the master race.

              July 11, 2014 at 3:10 : If all other countries have their majorities as their prototype representation, why can’t Sri Lanka. In fact, Sri Lanka must n be the only country in the world that lacks the prototype representation.

              July 15, 2014 at 9:34 pm : Native Vedda, again I use “master race” in reference to you alluding that Veddas are the actual master race. While you sit chanting incantations and curses against the Sinhalese (and Tamils) in ancient cultural format, persons like me move in harmonizing ways with Lankan Society.

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                ramona therese fernando

                When your bull***t is pointed out you are taking cover under more bull***t.

                Good try.

                “you lack lateral thinking skills, don’t you.”

                I am fortunate I am not blessed with bull***ting skills.

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            ramona therese fernando from the master race

            You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.

            – Andrew Murphy

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    Tutu did not mean a diaspora when he referred to outsiders. You cannot chase people out and say that they have no interest in the place they were chased out from. The Tamil diaspora has every interest in what happens in their homeland and has a right to outcomes. Many of them would want to return. The link with their culture is strong. Romesh, living in Canada, should know how faithfully the diaspora has reproduced food habits, temples and other habits, including bad habits, of the people back home. The role that the diaspora plays in outcomes in Sri Lanka will continue to be strong. It cannot be discounted. In this and other matters, the views of DJ, a has been or a never was, count for nothing.

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    Wonderful and understandable article. Hopefully one day most of the western educated Lankan youngsters can take over the country and make it into a 21st century marvel of Asia, bring unity, good governance, rule of law, prosperity and peace for every citizen, irrespective of cast, creed, race and religion.
    We surely need more of your types, urgently ! Thank you.

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      Bruz forgets the large army of over 500,000 Buddhist priests, who, despite our respect and esteem to this creed from India, will never
      allow Sri Lanka to advance and progress. The first politician/s who succeed in placing this lot within the confines of the spiritual Temple will be that/those who will save this country and help it to realise its true potential. Until such time it will be in-fighting and
      divisiveness.

      Backlash

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      We have the first financial Act of the new government carried out out by such a Western-educated person in the person of the Chief of the Central Bank as an example. Do we need more, to display the promised financial probity of the RW regime ?

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    Dear Romesh,

    You have said that most sinister quality of a madman is a horrible clarity of detail which form the basis of conspiracy theories. As a man who has been locked up and injected on numerous occasions for maintaining the conspiracy theory that that the psychiatry profession has been corrupted by the drug companies, and that Big Pharma conspires to promote their wares (by influencing doctors, health care workers and the public) through false advertising and fraudulent research, I have some reservations about broadening the criteria for a diagnosis of ‘mania’ such that it includes Dayan.

    Professor Alan Frances, the senior psychiatrist who headed the DSM Task Force of the American Psychiatric Association in the production of the DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders) in 1994, has said that the DSM IV resulted in an epidemic of over-diagnosis of mental illness, especially in children. He named autism, ADD and Bipolar Disorder (the old ‘manic depression’). He warned that the DSM V is worse, pathologising even more “normal” behaviour.

    The idea that conspiracy theories equal paranoia is a big problem. Diagnosing people as having schizophrenia or mania because they are talking too much about conspiracies (or think that there are conspiracies where you do not) is open to considerable abuse – resulting in serious human rights abuses around the world, where people are locked up for saying too much (including about conspiracies by the state and other powerful actors).

    There are many conspiracies that go on, but are not reported in the media. Occasionally some do – when on rare occasions big conspirators are found guilty in the courts. In the case of drug companies there have been some huge fines, of several billion dollars, against drug companies for fraud and false marketing, bribing doctors and suppressing critical research. If people are not alert to conspiracies, it allows conspiracies to flourish.

    I think it would be naive to believe there are not also conspiracies in such areas big business, arms-dealing and politics. People who theorise on such matters and reach conclusions about them, should not be called “manic” (or mentally ill by whatever name), especially if, as you say, they have “horrible clarity of detail”.

    From what I have read of Dayan’s writings, though I disagree with some of his views, he does not show signs of mania or mental illness in what he writes. What he writes may be contentious but it is not irrational. The fact that he writes as much as he does must reflect something about his psyche, but that’s what writers do, isn’t it?

    One time when I was locked up some years ago, the admitting doctor wrote that I had “hypergraphia” – writing too much. Having seen and experienced what it means to be labelled as mad, I would not wish such a fate on Dayan for courageously, maybe obstinately, expressing his opinion, despite the torrents of abuse he suffers with each of his articles.

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      I am very sorry but wilfully whipping up chauvinism and projecting or ostentatiously claiming that the Sinhala nation is in mortal danger because of Tamil expansion project predicated on a speech made in 1922 by Ponnampalam Arunachalam will not cut ice with intellectuals of today!

      DJ was once admired by many people and the intellectuals alike for his advocation of devolution of power and peace building in the past. But anymore; he is now a full blown Sinhala chauvinist who believes in Sinhala supremacy. Sri Lanka cannot be a single state with this kind of mindset!

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        Burning Issue

        “DJ was once admired by many people and the intellectuals alike for his advocation of devolution of power and peace building in the past. “

        This was true when his dad was alive and before he joined Premadasa. Since tasting the power of the state he has been drifting from his leftist to the statist position.

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      Dr Romesh Senewiratne-Alagaratnam,
      Thank you for making us aware of these things. Thank you for being a fighter against these drug companies. From my observations of society in US, on the religious front things are subdued and controlled, and the same Christian culture of other countries that does joyful youthful music, babbling in tongues, rolling on the floor and jumping up and down (even as Hindus and Sai Babas do) is glaringly missing. Young people are discouraged in acting-out in traditional youthful fashion, and instead resort to medication, recreational and hard-core drugs, sex (so they can sell birth-control and other things), forced into higher and higher education (so the colleges will sustain), partying non-stop so the night-club industry will thrive, talk-therapy so the mental-health industry will have jobs (fellows sit down and talk non-stop about themselves – better if they talked to the God), and many other unnecessities for good, normal and healthy society.

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    @Backlash: I agree with you 100% about the inconvenience truth of the so called Buddhist army who will not allow any reconciliation or give cooperation to bring peace and civility in the country. The main reason was SWRD allowing Buddhist priests to indulge in politics. Sir John Kottelawela warned SWRD to lock them up and keep those priests in the temples without allowing them to interfere in politics. He never listened but used them and the ‘Sinhala only’ within 24 hours to become PM. Finally he was murdered by one of them !

    These are the draw backs which are preventing unity between races, peace or prosperity. Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims have no problem, sharing and living in the country in peace, if not for these selfish politicians and unethical interference from religious heads or the religious ‘army’. The country should be made secular for any progression and that will be possible only by our younger, morally and academically educated, unbiased generation who are grooming up mainly in countries outside Sri Lanka. They are growing up in developed countries, living, studying, working with all kinds of people, including fellow Lankans without any prejudice and not knowing our rotten complex politics and thus becoming broad minded, wise, cultured, civilized, with no kind of communal hatred.
    They do not have corrupt or wrong kind of old Lankans around them to teach racism or religious hatred. They are the only hope we have now and I don’t think any of our present politicians will be able to do anything constructive due to the prevailing political conditions in the country.
    Sirisenas,Wiggies, Modis’ can try but they will only waste time !

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    hello Romesh, [Edited out]

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